The restricted cellular host range of human herpesvirus 8

David J. Blackbourn, Evelyne Lennette, Barbara Klencke, Ashlee Moses, Bala Chandran, Mark Weinstein, Richard G. Glogau, Marlys H. Witte, Way L. Dennis, Tim Kutzkey, Brian Herndier, Jay A. Levy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


Design: A selection of primary and transformed cell types were evaluated for their susceptibility to infection with human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8)/Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. Methods: Sources of HHV-8 included Kaposi's sarcoma lesion punch biopsies that were either cocultured directly with target cells or that were first cocultured with human lymphocytes to derive HHV-8-containing fluids that were inoculated onto target cells. HHV-8 was also obtained from primary effusion lymphoma-derived cell lines. Techniques to detect infection included the PCR, immunofluorescence assays and in situ hybridization. Results: Susceptible cells included human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (UCMC), adult CD19 B cells, macrophages and certain endothelial cells of human and animal origin, including some that are transformed with human papilloma virus type 16 E6 and E7 genes. The infection of lymphocytes did not yield established lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCL) and virus infection persisted for only 4-7 days. However, long-term HHV-8 infection of UCMC could be achieved by coinfection with Epstein-Barr virus. HHV-8 could also infect UCMC LCL recently derived by Epstein-Barr virus transformation, but long-established LCL could not be infected with HHV-8. Conclusions: These data provide further biological evidence in cell culture for the limited cellular host range of HHV-8 to CD19 B cells, macrophages, and certain endothelial cells. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1133
Number of pages11
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

The authors thank A. Koh for the collection of umbilical cord blood, S. Karmiol, (Clonetics) for providing some of the endothelial cell lines, J. Nelson for his advice and encouragement and R. Ruhl and M. Robinson for technical help. J. Ambroziak performed some of the DNA PCR assays.


  • B cell
  • Cellular host range
  • Human herpesvirus 8
  • Kaposi's sarcoma


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