In order to elucidate the pathogenesis of variant B human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) infection in skin tissues, an A431 cell line was inoculated with variant B HHV-6. HHV-6 causes abortive infection in the A431 cells, because neither late antigen (OHV-3 antigen) nor progeny virus is produced. Maximum levels of HHV-6 antigen (IEA/ex3 antigen)-positive cells (36.4%) were observed 48 hr after viral infection. Cocultivation of HHV-6-infected cord blood mononuclear cells with A431 cells was necessary for the establishment of a sufficient level of viral infection. Cell-to-cell contact between the infected cord blood mononuclear cells and A431 cells was crucial for increasing infection efficiency. To determine the biological effect of HHV-6 infection, flow cytometric analysis was carried out in HHV-6- and mock-infected A431 cells. Although no alteration was observed in VCAM-1 and ELAM-1 expression, that of HLA-ABC, HLA-DR, and ICAM-1 was upregulated after infection with HHV-6.
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