Immature and Transitional B Cells Are Latency Reservoirs for a Gammaherpesvirus

Academic Article


  • ABSTRACT Gammaherpesviruses, including Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV; also known as human herpesvirus 8 [HHV-8]), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV68; also known as gammaherpesvirus 68 [╬│HV68] or murine herpesvirus 4 [MuHV-4]), establish lifelong latency in the resting memory B cell compartment. However, little is known about how this reservoir of infected mature B cells is maintained for the life of the host. In the context of a normal immune system, the mature B cell pool is naturally maintained by the renewable populations of developing B cells that arise from hematopoiesis. Thus, recurrent infection of these developing B cell populations could allow the virus continual access to the B cell lineage and, subsequent to differentiation, the memory B cell compartment. To begin to address this hypothesis, we examined whether MHV68 establishes latency in developing B cells during a normal course of infection. In work described here, we demonstrate the presence of viral genome in bone marrow pro-pre-B cells and immature B cells during early latency and immature B cells during long-term latency. Further, we show that transitional B cells in the spleen are latently infected and express the latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA) throughout chronic infection. Because developing B cells normally exhibit a short life span and a high rate of turnover, these findings suggest a model in which gammaherpesviruses may gain access to the mature B cell compartment by recurrent seeding of developing B cells.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 26508621
  • Author List

  • Coleman CB; Nealy MS; Tibbetts SA
  • Start Page

  • 13045
  • End Page

  • 13052
  • Volume

  • 84
  • Issue

  • 24