Distinct subsets of primary effusion lymphoma can be identified based on their cellular gene expression profile and viral association
Gene Expression Profiling
Herpesvirus 4, Human
Herpesvirus 8, Human
Primary effusion lymphomas (PELs) are specifically associated with Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) infection and most frequently occur in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive individuals as lymphomatous effusions in the serous cavities without a detectable solid tumor mass. Most PELs have concomitant Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, suggesting that EBV is an important pathogenetic cofactor, although other as yet unidentified cofactors, such as cellular genetic alterations, are also likely to play a role. Lymphomatous effusions that lack KSHV also occur; these are frequently EBV associated in the setting of HIV infection. Here we used gene expression profile analysis to determine the viral impact on cellular gene expression and the pathogenesis of these lymphomatous effusions. Our results show that many genes, including cell cycle and signal transduction regulators, are differentially expressed between KSHV-positive PELs and KSHV-negative lymphomatous effusions and also between KSHV-positive, EBV-positive and KSHV-positive, EBV-negative PELs. Our results confirm that KSHV plays an important role in the pathogenesis of PELs, as its presence selects for a very distinct cellular gene expression category and a clearly different lymphoma type. Within the KSHV-positive PELs, the effect of EBV is more subtle but nevertheless clear.