Date of Award

May 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Gabriella Pinter

Second Advisor

Istvan Lauko

Committee Members

Gabriella Pinter, Istvan Lauko, Chao Zhu, Wail Hassan


African Green Monkeys, Factor Analysis, Immune Response, Rhesus Monkeys, Siv


The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was first detected more than 30 years ago. Since then, intensive research has been done to develop a broadly protective vaccine, though without success. Our goal is to unveil some features of the protective immunity in non-human primate lentiviral infections in order to emulate HIV-infection. Two primate species have been studied, rhesus macaques (Rh) (Macaca mulatta) and African

green monkeys (Ag) (Chlorocebus spp.). Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection is non-pathogenic to Ag while Rh develop an AIDS-like illness. In this study, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 8 Ag and 27 Rh were stimulated with phorbol merystate acetate and ionomycin to activate lymphocytes regardless of their specificity. We hypothesize that the immune response of the two species is fundamentally different resulting in the different reactions to SIV infection. CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells were investigated with respect to multiple surface markers and production of gamma-interferon

(IFN), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF) and interleukin two (IL2).

Additionally to principal component analysis, we tried a new approach by using exploratory factor analysis to reveal latent influences. We found differing relations for both Ag and Rh especially among cytokine secretion patterns. Based on our results, it is assumable that, besides their clear biological interaction, the TNF and IL2 are dependent on

a latent factor in the Ag. However, this strong relation could not be found in Rh. Instead, TNF and IL2 seem to oppose each other for Rh because they are assigned to different latent factors.