HHV6A, along with EBV is a strong condender for the role of viral villain in MS.
Apoptotic effects of Human Herpesvirus-6A on glia and neurons as potential triggers for central nervous system autoimmunity.
J Clin Virol. 2006 Dec;37 Suppl 1:S11-6.
Gardell JL, Dazin P, Islar J, Menge T, Genain CP, Lalive PH.
Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco
BACKGROUND: Human Herpesvirus type 6 (HHV-6A and/or HHV-6B) has been tentatively associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). However, there is currently no direct proof of pathogenicity.
OBJECTIVES: To determine whether exposure to HHV-6 variants is capable of inducing programmed cell death (apoptosis) in representative cell types of the central nervous system (CNS).
STUDY DESIGN: HHV-6A and HHV-6B variants were grown on human T cell lines HSB2 and MOLT-3, respectively. Human neuronal (SK-N-SH), astrocytes (CRT), and oligodendrocytes (TC620) cell lines were exposed in vitro to infected T cells in a trans-well system for up to 4 days (5x10(4) cells target cells and 2x10(6) T cells). Apoptosis was measured by a FACS-based method.
RESULTS: Exposure to HHV-6A induced apoptosis in a time-dependent manner, while exposure to HHV-6B did not. Three days after exposure, apoptosis was increased compared to normalized controls, by 239% in neurons, 321% in astrocytes, and 326% in oligodendrocytes, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides the demonstration that exposure to immune cells carrying replicating HHV-6A may injure glial cells and neurons by inducing apoptosis, and direct evidence for a causal association between HHV-6A with MS and related disorders.