Infection by human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is associated with the development of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). Since regression of KS can be achieved by treatment of the patients with alpha interferon (IFN-α), we analyzed the effects of IFN-α or anti-IFN-α antibodies (Ab) on HHV-8 latently infected primary effusion lymphoma-derived cell lines (BCBL-1 and BC-1) and on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from patients with all forms of KS and from at-risk subjects. IFN-α inhibited in a dose-dependent manner the amplification of HHV-8 DNA in BCBL-1 cells induced to lytic infection with tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate (TPA). This effect was associated with the inhibition of the expression of HHV-8 nut-1 and kaposin genes that are induced early and several hours, respectively, after TPA treatment. In addition, IFN-α inhibited virus production and/or release from BCBL-1 cells. Inhibition of nut-I and kaposin genes by IFN-α was also observed in BC-1 cells induced with n-butyrate. Conversely, the addition of anti-IFN-α Ab to TPA-induced BCBL-1 cells resulted in a larger number of mature enveloped particles and in a more extensive cytopathic effect due to the neutralization of the endogenous IFN produced by these cells. IFN was also produced by cultured PBMC from HHV-8-infected individuals, and this was associated with a loss of viral DNA during culture. However, the addition of anti-IFN-α Ab or anti-type I IFN receptor Ab promoted the maintenance of HHV-8 DNA in these cells that was associated with the detection of the latency-associated kaposin RNA. Finally, the addition of IFN-α reduced the HHV-8 load in PBMC. Thus, IFN-α appears to have inhibitory effects on HHV-8 persistent infection of PBMC. These results suggest that, in addition to inhibiting the expression of angiogenic factors that are key to KS development, IFN-α may induce KS regression by reducing the HHV-8 load and/or inhibiting virus reactivation.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Journal of Virology|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
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