The role of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV-8) in lymphoproliferative diseases

Semin Cancer Biol. 1999 Jun;9(3):165-74. doi: 10.1006/scbi.1998.0118.


The Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), also called human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), has been found to be present in a limited subset of lymphoproliferative disorders. Among these are the primary effusion lymphomas, formerly designated body cavity-based lymphomas, a rare type of malignant lymphoma which possesses an unusual set of clinical and biologic features, suggesting that they represent a distinct disease entity. This virus is also present in a large proportion of cases of multicentric Castleman's disease, particularly those associated with HIV-infection. In addition, KSHV has been implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple myeloma, where it has been identified in bone marrow adherent cells but not in the neoplastic myeloma plasma cell population. However, the latter finding remains controversial. The discovery of KSHV in a subset of malignant lymphomas has allowed the development of lymphoma cell lines which now serve as biological reagents for propagating the virus, as a substrate for serologic assays, and as a model system for pathobiologic studies. This review discusses the features of KSHV-associated lymphoproliferative disorders and the evidence supporting its role in the pathogenesis of these diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Castleman Disease / virology*
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma / etiology
  • Lymphoma / virology*
  • Multiple Myeloma / virology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured