Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is considered a proliferation and survival factor for B cells. To assess the role of IL-6 in Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) latency, KSHV latency locus-transgenic mice (referred to as latency mice) lacking IL-6 were evaluated. IL-6(-/-) latency mice had the same phenotypes as the latency mice, i.e., increased frequency of marginal zone B cells, hyperplasia, and hyperglobulinemia, indicating that the KSHV latency locus, which includes all viral microRNAs (miRNAs), can compensate for lack of IL-6 in premalignant B cell activation.
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