Kaposi's sarcoma cells: long-term culture with growth factor from retrovirus-infected CD4+ T cells

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Science  21 Oct 1988:
Vol. 242, Issue 4877, pp. 426-430
DOI: 10.1126/science.3262925


Studies of the biology and pathogenesis of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) have been hampered by the inability to maintain long-term cultures of KS cells in vitro. In this study AIDS-KS-derived cells with characteristic spindle-like morphology were cultured with a growth factor (or factors) released by CD4+ T lymphocytes infected with human T-lymphotropic virus type I or II (HTLV-I or HTLV-II) or with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 or 2 (HIV-1 or HIV-2). Medium conditioned by HTLV-II-infected, transformed lines of T cells (HTLV-II CM) contained large amounts of this growth activity and also supported the temporary growth of normal vascular endothelial cells, but not fibroblasts. Interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha stimulated the growth of the KS-derived cells, but the growth was only transient and these could be distinguished from that in HTLV-II CM. Other known endothelial cell growth promoting factors, such as acidic and basic fibroblast growth factors and epidermal growth factor, did not support the long-term growth of the AIDS-KS cells. The factor released by CD4+ T cells infected with human retroviruses should prove useful in studies of the pathogenesis of KS.

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