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Acta Neurol Scand Suppl. 1997;169:22-31.

Cell cultures and associated retroviruses in multiple sclerosis. Collaborative Research Group on MS.

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  • 1BioMérieux S.A., UMR 103 CNRS-bioMérieux, Lyon, France.


Retroviral particles associated with reverse transcriptase (RT) activity in cell-cultures from MS patients have been reported by different groups. Cell-cultures have been used for the study and characterization of the corresponding retroviral genome which we have shown is related to ERV9 in the pol region. Previously unpublished details of a study with monocyte cultures are presented together with observations on leptomeningeal and choroid-plexus cultures. The generation of self-transformed cultures after inhibition of interferon, followed by the loss of retroviral expression and recurrent apoptosis, is analyzed. Retroviral particles with RT-activity are produced in monocyte cultures with an apparent correlation with MS disease activity. However, though leptomeningeal and choroid plexus cells from MS can be passaged for a limited period, their evolution in vitro is not compatible with stable retroviral expression. These culture limitations greatly hampered progress on the elucidation of the retroviral genome sequence.

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