Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection may be involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis by modulating functions of smooth muscle cells (SMC). In this study, we performed an oligonucleotide microarray screening of 780 inflammation-associated genes in HCMV-infected aortic SMC (AoSMC). The expression of 31 genes was stimulated and 24 genes were down-regulated following infection with HCMV strain DC-134. Following infection with HCMV strain AD-169 infection, we found 24 genes to be stimulated and 32 genes to be down-regulated. Among these were primarily genes encoding for CC and CXC chemokines, adhesion molecules, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor superfamily members, apoptosis-related factors, signal transduction molecules and transcription regulators. The up-regulated genes included matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and MMP-3 in HCMV infected cells. Using RT-PCR and enzyme immunoassay we found stimulated expression of MMP-1 (3.2-fold expression) and MMP-3 (334-fold expression) in HCMV strain DC-134-infected AoSMC at 72 h following infection.The findings of our study suggest that HCMV infection of AoSMC cause an activation of atherosclerosis-relevant factors in SMC. The increased expression of MMPs which have been shown to be involved in atherosclerotic plaque rupture and myocardial infarction is in agreement with the hypothesis that this pathogen might contribute to plaque inflammation in atherosclerotic disease.
The aim of our study was to investigate the combination of Chlamydophila pneumoniae and human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) as a pathogenic factor in atherosclerosis. Accordingly, we tested by means of PCR and immunohistochemistry the presence of these pathogens in the same atherosclerotic carotid specimen. The histology of the samples and the patients' antibodies against these pathogens were evaluated. Further, we examined the impact of C. pneumoniae and HCMV infection on the gene expression of the human monocytic cell line U937. Six of the 22 samples contained only C. pneumoniae, 4 contained only HCMV, 7 contained both C. pneumoniae DNA and/or antigens of both pathogens, and 5 samples were negative. No correlation was found between the presence of these microbes and either the cellular structure of the plaques, or the serostatus of the patients. The infection of U937 cells with HCMV and especially C. pneumoniae induced inflammation and atherosclerosis-related genes. Furthermore, the doubly-infected cells produced higher levels of the mRNA of pro-platelet basic protein and fatty acid binding protein 4. In conclusion, C. pneumoniae is often present in combination with HCMV in atherosclerotic carotid lesions. The in vitro coinfection model reveals that the doubly-infected monocytes are potent expressors of proatherosclerotic genes, suggesting that this coinfected population may accelerate the process of atherosclerosis.
Primary human cytomegalovirus infection and the viral reactivation from latency are major complications in organ transplant recipients. In the peripheral blood the replicating virus can be detected either by nucleic acid based tests or by demonstrating the HCMV structural proteins in antigenemia test. We developed a quantitative competitive PCR method to assess the HCMV load in the peripheral blood. The viral load in nine healthy blood donors and in four renal transplant recipients with negative antigenemia test was in the same range: 5-124 (median: 18) HCMV copies/106 b-globin copies for healthy blood donors and 16-48 (median: 37) HCMV copies/106 b-globin copies for the transplant recipients. Three antigenemia positive renal transplant recipients had a HCMV load of 2,2´105/106 b-globin, 1,5´104/106 b-globin and 6,5´103/106 b-globin, respectively. In conclusion, the quantitative measurement of HCMV load in the peripheral blood correlated well with the routine HCMV antigenemia test. The DNA-based test, however can detect earlier the reactivation of the HCMV infection.
The human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) major immediate-early (MIE) gene is not transcribed in undifferentiated NTera-2 embryonal carcinoma cells, but is transcribed in their differentiated derivatives, offering a model with which to study the developmental regulation of the activity of a viral gene during the differentiation of these cells. The molecular mechanisms involved in the blockade of the MIE gene expression in undifferentiated NTera2 cells include covalent closure of the circular conformation of the viral genome, silencing of the viral MIE promoter by histone deacetylation, and increases in the expression of negatively regulating transcription factors responsible for the recruitment of the histone deacytylases around the viral MIE promoter (MIEP), resulting in repression of the MIEP in undifferentiated cells. The treatment of NTera2 cells with retinoic acid induces the differentiation of these cells. In HCMV-infected differentiated NTera2 cells, the MIEP becomes associated with hyperacetylated histones, which results in an open structure of chromatin, enhancing the access of DNA- binding factors which positively regulate MIE gene expression and viral replication. This model system contributes to an understanding of HCMV latency and reactivation in vivo in the cells of the myeloid lineage.
An external standard method for PCR quantification of HCMV was reported. [-32P]dATP was used as a tracer.32P-labelled specific amplification product was separated by agarose gel electrophoresis. A gel piece containing the specific product band was excised and counted in a plastic scintillation counter. Distribution of [-32P]dATP in the electrophoretic gel plate and effect of separation between the32P-labelled specific product and free [-32P]dATP were observed. A standard curve for quantification of HCMV by PCR was established and detective results of quality control templets were presented. The external standard method and the electrophoresis separation effect were appraised. The results showed that the method could be used for relative quantification of HCMV.
The inability of traditional risk factors such as hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and smoking to explain the incidence of atherosclerosis (AT) in about 50% of the cases prompted a search for additional putative risk factors involved in the development of the disease. Infectious agents have long been suspected to initiate/contribute to the process of AT. It has also been suggested that inflammation, either related to infectious agents or independent from infection, may mediate the atherogenic process [1, 2].
cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus and toxoplasma in the normal population Transzfúzió 29 3 – 7 .
. R. Pusztai J. Deák A. Kátai 2003 Strain-specific humoral immunity to humancytomegalovirus in pregnant women Bull. Med. Sci. 76 124