- Oral presentation
- Open Access
Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) “in vitro” infection of human placental histocultures
Retrovirologyvolume 5, Article number: O4 (2008)
Most human Herpesvirus infect placental cells and may be harmful in pregnancy, leading to obstetrical and/or neonatal complications. Although a correlation between human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) infection and abortion or low birth weight in children has been reported [1, 2] presently no information has been published regarding HHV-8 tropism for placenta.
Materials and methods
In this study, a placenta histoculture system was used to evaluate the susceptibility of placental cells to “in vitro” HHV-8 infection. Quantitative detection of HHV-8 was performed by real-time PCR, and virus expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry for latent and lytic HHV-8 antigens.
Increasing amounts of HHV-8 DNA were detected in placental tissues and culture supernatants and immunohistochemistry analyses demonstrated that both cyto- and syncitiotrophoblasts, as well as placental endothelial cells, expressed latent (see Figure 1) and lytic antigens. In addition, relevant apoptotic phenomena were observed in infected histocultures.
We here demonstrated for the first time that HHV-8, like other human herpesviruses, may productively infect placental cells in vitro, thus providing evidence that this phenomenon might influence vertical transmission and pregancy outcome in HHV-8-infected women.
Gaye-Diallo A, Toure AT, Gessain A, Gueye-Ndiaye A, Ndour AN, et al: Preliminary study of human Herpesvirus type 8 infection in pregnant women in Dakar (Senegal). Bull Soc Pathol Exot. 2001, 94: 231-234.
Sarmati L, Ticconi C, Santangelo R, Montano M, Rezza G, et al: Does the risk of abortion increases in women with high human herpesvirus-8 antibody titers?. J Infect Dis. 2003, 188: 173-174. 10.1086/375830.
This work was supported by grants from Istituto Superiore di Sanità (grant n. 50G.3, MLC; grant n. 50G.29, JRF) and from Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro (MLC). MB was the recipient of a fellowship from Associazione Italiana per la Lotta contro le Leucemie, Linfomi e Mieloma (AIL).