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Keywords:

  • hydroa vacciniforme-like eruption;
  • NK-cells;
  • EBV lymphoproliferative disease

Abstract

Recently, the involvement of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in hydroa vacciniforme (HV)-like eruptions has been suggested. To elucidate the role of EBV in this disease, we isolated EBV-infected cell clones from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and the skin lesions of a patient with HV-like eruptions; cells isolated from PBMC were designated SNK-12, and those from the eruption SNK-11. Both cells expressed CD16, CD56, and HLA-DR and had germline configurations of the T-cell receptor and the immunoglobulin genes, indicating that the cell clones were of NK cell lineage. The analysis of EBV terminal repeats indicated that the cells were monoclonal, had identical clonality, and originated from EBV-positive cells in the PBMC and eruption. Both clones expressed EBNA-1, but not EBNA-2. Although LMP-1 was weakly detected in SNK-11, no LMP-1 was detected in SNK-12. Interestingly, EBV-infected cells required less IL-2 for in vitro growth in the later phase of this disease and this appeared to correlate with the expression of LMP-1, suggesting that the proliferative capacity of the EBV-positive NK cells increased during the time course of the disease, and LMP-1 expression might be responsible for that. This is the first report of the isolation of EBV-infected cells from the skin lesions of HV-like eruptions and strongly suggests that the HV-like eruption in the patient was caused by clonal NK cells with latent EBV infection.