Human Herpesvirus 6 Inhibits the Proliferative Responses of Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells

J Infect Dis. 1993 Jun;167(6):1274-80. doi: 10.1093/infdis/167.6.1274.


Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) was recently isolated from the blood of immunosuppressed individuals and children with exanthem subitum. In this study, the effect of HHV-6 on the proliferative response of human peripheral blood lymphocytes was tested. T cell lines or human peripheral blood lymphocytes were infected with HHV-6 variant A, strain GS, or variant B, strain Z29. Infected and uninfected cell lysates were UV inactivated and sonicated; when lysates were added to peripheral blood mononuclear cells from HHV-6-seropositive adults, lymphoproliferative responses to antigens (tuberculin purified protein derivative or mumps) and mitogens (phytohemagglutinin or interleukin-2) were inhibited in a dose-dependent manner. This inhibition was reversed by a rabbit anti-HHV-6(GS) antiserum, and inhibition was not due to cell lysis induced by viral infection, since cell death was not observed. This in vitro suppression of cellular immune responses by HHV-6 proteins may be relevant to the in vivo pathogenesis of HHV-6 and its relationship to human diseases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • Cell Division
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Herpesviridae Infections / immunology*
  • Herpesviridae Infections / microbiology
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human / immunology*
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human / physiology
  • Kinetics
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / cytology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / microbiology*
  • Virus Replication


  • Antigens, Viral