Expression of human herpesvirus-8 oncogene and cytokine homologues in an HIV-seronegative patient with multicentric Castleman's disease and primary effusion lymphoma

Lab Invest. 1998 Dec;78(12):1637-42.


Human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) has been described in association with two lymphoproliferative disorders: one benign, multicentric Castleman's disease (MCD), and one malignant, primary effusion lymphoma (PEL). The factors that lead to malignant transformation of lymphoid cells are unknown, although most cases of PEL also are positive for EBV, suggesting a role for EBV as a cofactor in malignant transformation. We encountered a rare case of an HHV-8-associated MCD, followed by the development of an HHV-8-positive pleural PEL and a gastric large cell lymphoma in an HIV-seronegative male patient. The lesions were negative for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The combination of these diverse HHV-8-associated lymphoproliferative disorders in a single patient afforded us the ability to study potential differences in gene expression in these conditions. HHV-8 DNA was demonstrated by PCR in lymphoid tissues involved by MCD and PEL. By reverse transcriptase-PCR, HHV-8-related transcripts, including vG-coupled protein receptor, vbcl2, vcyclin D, vIL-6, vMIPI, and vMIPII, were detected in the PEL from the pleural cavity and the gastric lymphoma, whereas these transcripts, except for vIL-6, were not detected in a lymph node biopsy with MCD. Expression of hIL-10 was weak in the PEL from the pleural cavity, and expression of hIL-6 was undetectable in all three lesions. These data suggest that vIL-6 may be integral to the pathogenesis of MCD, whereas other viral transcripts that encode oncogene and chemokine homologues are important for HHV-8 tumorigenicity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Biopsy
  • Castleman Disease / complications
  • Castleman Disease / immunology*
  • Castleman Disease / pathology
  • Castleman Disease / virology*
  • Cytokines / genetics*
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Genes, Immunoglobulin
  • HIV Seronegativity*
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / genetics*
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains / genetics
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphoma / complications
  • Lymphoma / immunology*
  • Lymphoma / pathology
  • Lymphoma / virology*
  • Male
  • Oncogenes*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Antigens, CD
  • Cytokines
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains