Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus infects endothelial and spindle cells

Nat Med. 1995 Dec;1(12):1274-8. doi: 10.1038/nm1295-1274.


Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), a vascular tumour that contains characteristic spindle cells forming slit-like spaces, may have an infectious aetiology. Recently, sequences of a new human herpesvirus, KSHV/HHV-8, have been identified in both HIV-associated and classical KS. We sought to identify the target cell of this virus in KS tumour tissue. Using PCR in situ hybridization (PCR-ISH) we show that KSHV/HHV-8 is present in the flat endothelial cells lining vascular spaces of KS lesions as well as in typical KS spindle cells. These findings show that KSHV/HHV-8 is present in the cell types thought to represent neoplastic cells in these lesions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / pathology
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / virology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Base Sequence
  • Endothelium
  • Female
  • Herpesviridae Infections / virology*
  • Herpesviridae*
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nevus, Spindle Cell / virology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / pathology
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / virology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / virology*