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Am J Pathol. 2000 Jun;156(6):1961-71.

Induction of HHV-8 lytic cycle replication by inflammatory cytokines produced by HIV-1-infected T cells.

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Department of Pathology and Skin Cancer Research Laboratories, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL 60153-5385, USA.


Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is a gamma2-herpesvirus consistently identified in Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), primary effusion lymphoma, and multicentric Castleman's disease. Although HHV-8 infection appears to be necessary, it may not be sufficient for development of KS without the involvement of other cofactors. One potentially important cofactor is HIV-1. HIV-1-infected cells produce HIV-1-related proteins and cytokines, both of which have been shown to promote growth of KS cells in vitro. Though HIV-1 is not absolutely necessary for KS development, KS is the most frequent neoplasm in AIDS patients, and AIDS-KS is recognized as a particularly aggressive form of the disease. To determine whether HIV-1 could participate in the pathogenesis of KS by modulating HHV-8 replication (rather than by inducing immunodeficiency), HIV-1-infected T cells were cocultured with the HHV-8-infected cell line, BCBL-1. The results demonstrate soluble factors produced by or in response to HIV-1-infected T cells induced HHV-8 replication, as determined by production of lytic phase mRNA transcripts, viral proteins, and detection of progeny virions. By focusing on cytokines produced in the coculture system, several cytokines known to be important in growth and proliferation of KS cells in vitro, particularly Oncostatin M, hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor, and interferon-gamma, were found to induce HHV-8 lytic replication when added individually to BCBL-1 cells. These results suggest specific cytokines can play an important role in the initiation and progression of KS through reactivation of HHV-8. Thus, HIV-1 may participate more directly than previously recognized in KS by promoting HHV-8 replication and, hence, increasing local HHV-8 viral load.

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