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    Reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV) is a retrovirus that causes severe immunosuppression in poultry. Animals grow slowly under conditions of oxidative stress. In addition, long-term oxidative stress can impair immune function, as well as accelerate aging and death. This study aimed to elucidate the pathogenesis of REV from the perspective of changes in oxidative-antioxidative function following REV infection. A total of 80 one-day-old specific pathogen free (SPF) chickens were randomly divided into a control group (Group C) and an REV-infected group (Group I). The chickens in Group I received intraperitoneal injections of REV with 104.62/0.1 mL TCID50. Thymus was collected on day 1, 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, and 49 for histopathology and assessed the status of oxidative stress. In chickens infected with REV, the levels of H2O2 and MDA in the thymus increased, the levels of TAC, SOD, CAT, and GPx1 decreased, and there was a reduction in CAT and Gpx1 mRNA expression compared with the control group. The thymus index was also significantly reduced. Morphological analysis showed that REV infection caused an increase in the thymic reticular endothelial cells, inflammatory cell infiltration, mitochondrial swelling, and nuclear damage. These results indicate that an increase in oxidative stress enhanced lipid peroxidation, markedly decreased antioxidant function, caused thymus atrophy, and immunosuppression in REV-infected chickens.


    Dahan Yang, Chenhui Zhao, Meixi Zhang, Shujun Zhang, Jie Zhai, XueLi Gao, Chaonan Liu, Xiaoping Lv, Shimin Zheng. Changes in oxidation-antioxidation function on the thymus of chickens infected with reticuloendotheliosis virus. BMC veterinary research. 2020 Dec 11;16(1):483

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    PMID: 33308224

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