The Role of Chemokines in the Pathogenesis of HTLV-1

Front Microbiol. 2020 Mar 13;11:421. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.00421. eCollection 2020.


Human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is a human retrovirus that is associated with two main diseases: HTLV-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) and adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL). Chemokines are highly specialized groups of cytokines that play important roles in organizing, trafficking, homing, and in the migration of immune cells to the bone marrow, lymphoid organs and sites of infection and inflammation. Aberrant expression or function of chemokines, or their receptors, has been linked to the protection against or susceptibility to specific infectious diseases, as well as increased the risk of autoimmune diseases and malignancy. Chemokines and their receptors participate in pathogenesis of HTLV-1 associated diseases from inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS) which occurs in cases of HAM/TSP to T cell immortalization and tissue infiltration observed in ATL patients. Chemokines represent viable effective prognostic biomarkers for HTLV-1-associated diseases which provide the early identification of high-risk, treatment possibilities and high-yielding clinical trials. This review focuses on the emerging roles of these molecules in the outcome of HTLV-1-associated diseases.

Keywords: ATL; HAM/TSP; HTLV-1; chemokine; inflammatory response.

Publication types

  • Review