Morphogenesis of HHV8 in primary human dermal microvascular endothelium and primary effusion lymphomas

J. M. Orenstein, D. M. Ciufo, J. P. Zoeteweij, A. Blauvelt, G. S. Hayward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This study elucidates the morphology of HHV8 replication in human dermal endothelial cells and primary effusion lymphomas (PEL) and compares it to that seen in Kaposi sarcoma. Primary human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (DMVEC) exposed to the cell-filtered supernatant of the PEL JSC1 and PEL cell lines (KS-1, BCBL-1, BC-1, BC-3) were cultured in the presence or absence of 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) or butyrate. Cells were fixed in neutral-buffered glutaraldehyde, gelled in cooled agar, and processed for TEM. There was a quantitative, but not a qualitative difference in viral expression associated with no treatment or exposure to TPA or butyrate of HHV8 in DMVEC and PEL. Two types of viral-induced intranuclear inclusions (INI) were visible at the light and ultrastructural levels. The more common INI had lighter staining material filling the nucleus, except for a rim of dense chromatin, and could be seen even before viral nucleocapsids (NC) were visible. The second type of INI resembled a target formed by condensation of electron-dense material surrounded by a lighter halo and marginated heterochromatin and containing NC. Collections of coalescing electron-dense granules resembling starbursts were often present in nuclei containing either type of INI. Next to appear in productively infected cells were mature enveloped particles that formed mostly by the budding of NC into cytoplasmic vacuoles. Mature particles were also seen free on the plasma membrane. Tufts of electron-dense intermediate filaments were associated with maturing particles. Mature virions lacked an electron-dense tegument. Viral production was ultimately associated with cell lysis. It appears that HHV8 propagate in DMVEC, with and without stimulation, and have a similar morphogenesis to that seen in PEL cell lines and Kaposi sarcoma lesions. Several unique features characterize cells productively infected by HHV8.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-300
Number of pages10
JournalUltrastructural Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Endothelium
  • HHV8
  • KSHV
  • Lymphoma
  • Morphogenesis
  • TEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Structural Biology


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