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Oncol Res. 2013;20(9):403-10. doi: 10.3727/096504013X13657689383058.

Invasion of histiocytic sarcoma into the spinal cord of HTLV-1 tax transgenic mice with HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis-like disease.

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Division of Microbiology and Genetics, Institute of Resource Development and Analysis, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan.


Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) can cause an aggressive malignancy known as adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) as well as inflammatory diseases such as HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). Transgenic (Tg) mice expressing HTLV-1 Tax also develop T-cell leukemia/lymphoma and an inflammatory arthropathy that resembles rheumatoid arthritis. We found that 8 of 297 Tax-Tg mice developed HAM/TSP-like disease with symmetrical paraparesis of the hind limbs, but these symptoms were absent in non-Tg littermates and in other mice strains at our animal facilities. We could perform detailed evaluations for five of these mice. These evaluations showed that the disease was not inflammatory, unlike that in HAM/TSP patients, but instead involved the invasion of histiocytic sarcoma cells into the lumbar spinal cord from the bone marrow where they had undergone extensive proliferation.

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