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Cell Death Differ. 1997 Oct;4(7):629-38.

Herpes simplex virus 2 causes apoptotic infection in monocytoid cells.

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Institute of Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.


Increasing evidence indicates that apoptosis can be associated with several viral infections. Here we demonstrate, that infection of monocytoid cells by Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) resulted, in time- and dose-dependent induction of apoptosis as an exclusive cytopathic effect. The phenomenon was confirmed using four different techniques. Conversely, apoptosis was not observed in the Vero cell line. Virus yield in monocytoid cells was delayed and reduced, although well detectable, in comparison with that observed in Vero cells. Nevertheless, released virions exhibited full infecting capability. Apoptosis induced by HSV-2 was not inhibited by cycloheximide and only partially by an UV-treatment which completely abrogated infectivity. Virus-induced apoptosis was partly inhibited by indomethacin and was associated with a down-regulation of Bcl-2. A similar, but less pronounced, apoptosis-inducing effect in monocytoid cells was also observed with HSV-1 infection. Depending on the target cells, therefore, HSV could complete a cycle of infection which is characterized by apoptosis of infected cells.

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