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Epstein-Barr virus permissively infects human syncytiotrophoblasts in vitro and induces replication of human T cell leukemia-lymphoma virus type I in dually infected cells

Epstein-Barr virus permissively infects human syncytiotrophoblasts in vitro and induces replication of human T cell leukemia-lymphoma virus type I in dually infected cells

Virology 229(2): 400-414

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), as well as human T-cell leukemia-lymphoma virus type I (HTLV-I), may interact in the pathogenesis of human retroviral infections. The placental syncytiotrophoblast layer represents a barrier protecting the fetal compartment from exposure to retroviruses. We studied the interactions of EBV with HIV-1 and HTLV-I in human term syncytiotrophoblast cells to investigate the significance of double infections in transplacental transmission of human retroviruses. We found that syncytiotrophoblast cells could be productively infected with EBV. Dual infection of the cells with EBV and HTLV-I resulted in full replication cycle of otherwise latent HTLV-I. In contrast, the restricted permissiveness of syncytiotrophoblasts for HIV-1 was not influenced by coinfection of the cells with EBV. Infection of syncytiotrophoblast cells with EBV, but not HTLV-I, induced interleukin-2 and interleukin-6 secretion, and augmented secretion occurred on coinfection with both viruses. Coinfection of syncytiotrophoblast cells with EBV and HTLV-I induced tumor necrosis factor-beta and transforming growth factor-beta-1 secretion, but infection with either virus alone did not lead to secretion of these cytokines. Permissive replication cycle of HTLV-I was induced by the EBV immediate-early gene product Zta. Pseudotype formation between EBV and HTLV-I in coinfected syncytiotrophoblast cells was not found. Our data suggest that activation of HTLV-I gene expression by EBV in coinfected syncytiotrophoblast cells may be a mechanism for transplacental transmission of HTLV-I.

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Accession: 002830413

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PMID: 9126252

DOI: 10.1006/viro.1997.8449

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