Differential expression of viral and human interleukin-10 (IL-10) by primary B cell tumors and B cell lines

Virology. 1994 May 1;200(2):724-32. doi: 10.1006/viro.1994.1236.


Human and viral interleukin-10 (IL-10) possess growth factor activity for human B cells and may act as autocrine growth factors in B cell malignancies. To study this possibility we have measured viral (v) and human (h) IL-10 expression in EBV-positive and negative B lineage tumors and tumor cell lines. Previous studies demonstrated IL-10 expression in cell lines and now we describe the pattern of IL-10 expression in primary Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) tumor biopsies and in BL lines of defined phenotypes. vIL-10 was expressed during the lytic (productive) phase of EBV infection, but not during virus latency. Although hIL-10 was expressed in the majority of B cell lines, it was not expressed in two BL biopsy specimens. Expression of hIL-10 did not correlate with the presence of EBV, but was associated with the differentiation state of the B cell line. Thus, vIL-10 may enhance the persistence of B cells infected at sites of virus replication, and while hIL-10 may be a factor in the growth both in vivo and in vitro of some BLs and EBV-transformed B cells, it is not an absolute requirement.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Biopsy
  • Burkitt Lymphoma / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • DNA Probes
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / biosynthesis*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Viral Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Virus Latency


  • BCRF1 protein, Human herpesvirus 4
  • DNA Probes
  • Viral Proteins
  • Interleukin-10