Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is a lymphotropic virus, but recent observations showed that also vascular endothelial cells (ECs) are susceptible to infection, both in vivo and in vitro. The observation that lymph nodes are a site of viral persistence suggests that lymphatic ECs (LECs) might be even more relevant for HHV-6 biology than vascular ECs. Here,weprovide evidence that HHV-6 can infect LECs in vitro and establish a latent infection. Thus HHV-6 infection induces the loss of angiogenic properties both in LECs and in vascular ECs, as shown by the inability to form capillary-like structures and to seal wound scratches. The antiangiogenic effects observed in infected cells are associated to the expression of HHV-6 U94/rep, a latency-associated gene. In fact, transfection of U94/rep or addition of recombinant U94/REP protein to ECs inhibits the formation of in vitro capillary-like structures, reduces migration of ECs, and blocks angiogenesis, rendering rat aortic rings insensitive to VEGF-induced vasculogenetic activity. The ability of U94/rep to block different angiogenetic steps may lead to approaches in the potential control of the proliferation of blood and lymphatic vessels.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 2009|
- Endothelial cells
- Lymphatic endothelial cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas