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J Infect Dis. 1994 Apr;169(4):871-4.

Infection of human bone marrow stromal cells by hepatitis B virus: implications for viral persistence and the suppression of hematopoiesis.

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  • 1Clinical Research Centre, Royal Brisbane Hospital Foundation, Australia.


Suspension cultures of bone marrow cells (BMC) were challenged with hepatitis B virus (HBV) to study interactions between the virus and the nonadherent and adherent BMC populations. Virus-challenged BMC developed an adherent stromal layer that differed in cellular composition from that of mock-infected cultures, showing a threefold increase in cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage with an accompanying decrease in cells of the granulocytic lineage. Both viral envelope hepatitis B surface and core antigen expression was detected in adherent and nonadherent cell populations up to 10 days after virus challenge, which decreased thereafter. HBV DNA was still detectable in adherent cells 3 weeks after virus challenge, as shown by polymerase chain reaction analysis. These data indicate that HBV can infect not only bone marrow colony-forming cells but also the stromal cell populations involved with the regulation of hematopoiesis in vivo. Such virus-cell interactions could contribute to the immune dysfunction and bone marrow failure occasionally reported for patients with HBV infection as well as acting as an important site for HBV latency and persistence.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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