Particular interest in human T lymphocyte lymphoma/leukemia virus (HTLV) derives from the close association of HTLV with several types of human mature T lymphocyte malignancies and the strong possibility that HTLV is the causative agent of this group of leukemias and lymphomas. This is the first report to show that HTLV expression in T lymphocytes cultured in vitro is inversely proportional to constitutive γ interferon production. Of 16 fresh T lymphocyte cultures established from patients with mature T lymphocyte neoplasias, 3 were grown continuously for over 3 years and 13 were grown for 2 to 8 months in culture. Of the 16 cultures, 9 were HTLVp19 positive and interferon negative, whereas the remaining 7 were HTLVp19 negative or weakly positive and also interferon positive (12 to 105 U/ml). The prototype HTLV-positive T-cell line (HUT102) was examined over a long-term culture and after selective cell cloning for high virus yield. Results indicate that early-passage, low-HTLV-producing HUT102 cells constitutively produced significant levels of γ-immune interferon. In late-passage and cloned HUT102 cells, an increase in HTLV production was concordant with a decrease in constitutive interferon production and the loss of mature T lymphocyte antigens. Transformation of human umbilical cord blood lymphocytes by HTLV was possible only after cocultivation with the non-interferon, high virus-producing, cloned HUT102 T lymphocytes. The inverse relationship between interferon and HTLV production was also observed when normal human umbilical cord blood and adult T lymphocytes were transformed by HTLV and maintained in culture.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science