Azidothymidine and interferon-alpha induce apoptosis in herpesvirus-associated lymphomas.

Published

Journal Article

Lymphoproliferative diseases that occur in immunocompromised patients are frequently associated with herpesviruses. These patients often fare poorly after treatment with conventional chemotherapy. We reported previously that patients with AIDS-related Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) responded to parenteral azidothymidine (AZT) and IFN-alpha. We found that EBV-positive lymphoma cells derived from these patients cultured with AZT express CD95 and undergo apoptosis. AZT-mediated apoptosis was caspase dependent and occurred despite Fas receptor blockade. In contrast, EBV-negative lymphomas were resistant to AZT-induced apoptosis, as were EBV-positive lymphomas that expressed high levels of bcl-2. Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) cell lines infected with human herpesvirus type 8 required IFN-alpha to potentiate AZT-induced apoptosis. IFN-alpha did not up-regulate CD95 in BL or PEL but did induce expression of the death receptor ligand, CD95 ligand. AZT-sensitive lymphomas also accumulated significantly higher intracellular AZT monophosphate than did resistant lymphomas. Our data demonstrated distinct apoptotic responses to AZT and IFN-alpha in herpesvirus-associated lymphomas. EBV-positive BL cells that expressed low BCL-2 levels were sensitive to AZT alone; PEL cells required the addition of IFN-alpha to enhance apoptosis, and EBV-negative lymphomas were insensitive to both agents. AZT-sensitive BL cells transfected with BCL-2 became resistant. Susceptibility to antivirus-mediated apoptosis may be exploited to improve the therapy of certain herpesvirus-associated lymphomas.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Lee, RK; Cai, JP; Deyev, V; Gill, PS; Cabral, L; Wood, C; Agarwal, RP; Xia, W; Boise, LH; Podack, E; Harrington, WJ

Published Date

  • November 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 59 / 21

Start / End Page

  • 5514 - 5520

PubMed ID

  • 10554028

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10554028

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1538-7445

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0008-5472

Language

  • eng