Chromosome damage induced in cord blood T-lymphocytes infected in vitro by HTLV-I

L. Chieco-Bianchi, D. Saggioro, A. Del Mistro, A. Montaldo, F. Majone, A. G. Levis

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Experiments were carried out to investigate whether the human T-lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I), alone or in combination with a chemical mutagen such as mitomycin C (MMC), has the capacity to damage host chromosomes. Cord-blood T lympocytes (CBL) were infected by cocultivation with lethally irradiated HTLV-I-producing cells. Infected and immortalized CBL were then studied for frequencies of sister chromatid exchanges (SCE), chromosome breaks and micronuclei. HTLV-I-infected cells had statistically higher baseline SCE, chromosome aberrations and micronucleus values than the uninfected control CBL. While MMC treatment further augmented these values both in control and in infected lymphocytes, the latter did not show dose-related increases, most likely because of the more pronounced MMC-induced delaying effect on cell progression to mitosis. In view of similar previous observations in mouse lymphocytes carrying the Moloney murine leukemia virus, it is suggested that expression of a common retrovirus gene product, such as the pol endonuclease, might be responsible for the cytogenetic abnormalities observed. In addition to the IL-2 autocrine loop, the direct induction of chromosome damage by HTLV-I in target lymphocytes may be related to the pathogenesis of malignancies associated with HTLV-I infection.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number12 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology


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