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Blood. 1998 Mar 15;91(6):1852-7.

Clinical-grade functional dendritic cells from patients with multiple myeloma are not infected with Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus.

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Institute for Molecular Genetics, CNRS, Montpellier, France.


Bone marrow dendritic cells (DC) from patients with multiple myeloma (MM) were recently reported to be infected with Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). Because immunotherapy strategies using DC are very promising in this disease, we looked for KSHV DNA in clinical-grade DC generated in vitro from MM patients. Adherent apheresis cells from MM patients were maintained for 7 days in clinical-grade X-VIVO 15 culture medium supplemented with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interleukin-4, or interleukin-13. Tumor necrosis factor alpha was added for the last 2 days. We obtained a cell population with a DC phenotype able to endocytose fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran and efficiently activate resting allogenic T lymphocytes. To detect KSHV DNA, we used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by Southern blotting of PCR product with a sensitivity detecting a few copies of viral DNA. All the PCR were repeated in a blinded fashion three times, on 1 mug and 0.2 mug of genomic DNA, in two different laboratories. Clinical-grade DC from 10 (91%) of 11 patients were not infected with KSHV. The apheresis cells and the purified CD34(+) cells from the same patients were also negative. A very weak PCR band was detected with DC from one patient, but the initial apheresis cells were negative. The detection of KSHV infection in 1 (9%) of 11 MM patients probably represents background seroprevalence. It seems likely that functional and clinical-grade DC from MM patients can safely be used in clinical trials.

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