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Virology. 1983 Aug;129(1):51-64.

Restricted expression of human T-cell leukemia--lymphoma virus (HTLV) in transformed human umbilical cord blood lymphocytes.


The productive infection and transformation of fresh human lymphocytes by several HTLV isolates have recently been reported. We extend these observations here with the description of multiple immortalized, non-producer, human umbilical cord blood lymphocyte cultures developed by cocultivation or fusion of fresh cells with T cells cultured from leukemia-lymphoma patients. These transformed neonatal leukocytes exhibit morphological, cytochemical, and other phenotypic characteristics similar to those of other HTLV-infected cells but, in contrast to the usual productive infection seen, these cells contain only low amounts of viral proteins and do not release virus particles. These cells contain at least one copy of HTLV proviral DNA/cell and transcribe viral RNA similar in size to virus-producing cells. Virus expression in these cultures was not enhanced by IUdR treatment. These cell cultures should be useful in studies of the regulation of viral expression in human cells and of the viral proteins and nucleic acids involved in T-cell immortalization and growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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