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Blood. 1997 Dec 1;90(11):4278-82.

Localization of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus in bone marrow biopsy samples from patients with multiple myeloma.

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  • 1Departments of Pathology and Medicine, the Division of Hematology/Oncology, UCLA School of Medicine, Veterans Affairs West Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


We have recently demonstrated the presence of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) in cultured bone marrow (BM) stromal dendritic cells from all patients with myeloma studied. To show that these findings were not an artifact of tissue culture, we performed in situ hybridization (ISH) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect KSHV in BM core biopsies. Using ISH to open reading frame-72 (ORF 72), we localized KSHV to BM dendritic cells in 17 of 20 patients with myeloma, 2 patients with plasmacytosis associated with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and 1 case of aplastic anemia. In contrast, BM from normal subjects (n = 4) and patients with lymphoma and leukemia (n = 21) did not contain KSHV. PCR amplification with KSHV primers demonstrated product in fresh BM biopsy samples from 6 of 7 myeloma patients, whereas three normal marrows contained no amplified product. These findings suggest that KSHV, possibly through alterations in the BM microenvironment and production of viral interleukin-6 (vIL-6), may stimulate and maintain abnormal plasma cell proliferation in myeloma and related disorders.

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