Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV, also known as HHV-8) has been found in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) and postulated to be aetiologically associated with the development of this common plasma cell malignancy. A murine model of MM was previously established in which intravenous transfer of 5T myeloma cells into C57BL/KaLwRij mice resulted in characteristic features of human MM. In the present study, we sought to identify herpesvirus DNA sequences in this murine model of MM through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis using primers specific for KSHV, murine herpesvirus 68 (MHV68) and murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) as well as consensus primers designed from the highly conserved DNA polymerase genes of the Herpesviridae family. None of the DNA samples from whole bone marrow (n = 6) or dendritic cells enriched by long-term culture (n = 8) of 5T myeloma- bearing mice as well as the 5T myeloma cell lines (n = 3) maintained in long- term culture yielded specific amplification products in any of the PCR assays. Two KSHV-specific serological assays measuring antibodies to KSHV latent and lytic antigens also failed to detect the presence of anti-KSHV antibodies in mice that developed MM. These results suggest that the development of 5T murine MM is unlikely to be involved with KSHV or a KSHV- like murine herpesvirus.
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