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See detailSafety of long-term treatment of HAM/TSP patients with valproic acid
Olindo, Stéphane; Belrose, Gildas; Gillet, Nicolas ULg et al

in Blood (2011), 118(24), 6306-6309

HTLV-Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis (HAM/TSP) is a neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system induced by Human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). As a potential ... [more ▼]

HTLV-Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis (HAM/TSP) is a neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system induced by Human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). As a potential therapeutic approach, we previously suggested reducing the proviral load (PVL) by modulating lysine deacetylase activity using valproic acid (VPA) and exposing virus-positive cells to the host immune response. We conducted a single-center, two-year open-label trial, with 19 HAM/TSP volunteers treated with oral VPA. PVL, CD38/HLA-DR expression and CD8+ lysis efficiency were not significantly affected by VPA. Mean scores of HAM/TSP disability did not differ between baseline and final visit. Walking Time Test (WTT) increased significantly (>20%) in 3 patients and was in keeping with minor VPA side effects (drowsiness and tremor). WTT improved rapidly after VPA discontinuation. We conclude that long term treatment with VPA is safe in HAM/TSP. [less ▲]

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See detailHow the genomic environment of the HTLV-1 provirus impacts on clone fitness
Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Malani, Nirav; Berry, Charles et al

Conference (2010, May)

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See detailGene activation therapy: from the BLV model to HAM/TSP patients.
Lezin, Agnes; Olindo, Stephane; Belrose, Gildas et al

in Frontiers in Bioscience (Scholar Edition) (2009), 1

HTLV-1 (human T-lymphotropic virus type 1) and BLV (bovine leukemia virus) are two related retroviruses infecting CD4+ and B lymphocytes in humans and ruminants, respectively. During infection, the host ... [more ▼]

HTLV-1 (human T-lymphotropic virus type 1) and BLV (bovine leukemia virus) are two related retroviruses infecting CD4+ and B lymphocytes in humans and ruminants, respectively. During infection, the host-pathogen interplay is characterized by very dynamic kinetics resulting in equilibrium between the virus, which attempts to proliferate, and the immune response, which seeks to exert tight control of the virus. A major determinant of disease induction by both viruses is the accumulation of provirus in peripheral blood. In the absence of viral proteins, virus infected cells escape recognition and destruction by the host immune response. We propose a novel therapeutic strategy based on transient activation of viral expression using epigenetic modulators; this exposes infected cells to the immune response and results in significant reductions in proviral loads. In the absence of satisfactory therapies, this viral gene-activation strategy might delay progression, or even be curative, for HTLV-1 induced myelopathy / tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). [less ▲]

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See detailCell dynamics and immune response to BLV infection: a unifying model
Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Asquith, Becca et al

in Frontiers in Bioscience : A Journal and Virtual Library (2007), 12

Bovine Leukemia virus (BLV) is the natural etiological agent of a lymphoproliferative disease in cattle. BLV can also be transmitted experimentally to a related ruminant species, sheep, in which the ... [more ▼]

Bovine Leukemia virus (BLV) is the natural etiological agent of a lymphoproliferative disease in cattle. BLV can also be transmitted experimentally to a related ruminant species, sheep, in which the pathogenesis is more acute. Although both susceptible species develop a strong anti-viral immune response, the virus persists indefinitely throughout life, apparently at a transcriptionally silent stage, at least in a proportion of infected cells. Soon after infection, these humoral and cytotoxic activities very efficiently abolish the viral replicative cycle, permitting only mitotic expansion of provirus-carrying cells. Short term cultures of these infected cells initially indicated that viral expression protects against spontaneous apoptosis, suggesting that leukemia is a process of accumulation of long-lived cells. This conclusion was recently reconsidered following in vivo dynamic studies based on perfusions of nucleoside (bromodeoxyuridine) or fluorescent protein markers (CFSE). In sheep, the turnover rate of infected cells is increased, suggesting that a permanent clearance process is exerted by the immune system. Lymphocyte trafficking from and to the secondary lymphoid organs is a key component in the maintenance of cell homeostasis. The net outcome of the immune selective pressure is that only cells in which the virus is transcriptionally silenced survive and accumulate, ultimately leading to lymphocytosis. Activation of viral and/or cellular expression in this silent reservoir with deacetylase inhibitors causes the collapse of the proviral loads. In other words, modulation of viral expression appears to be curative in lymphocytic sheep, an approach that might also be efficient in patients infected with the related Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1. In summary, a dynamic interplay between BLV and the host immune response modulates a complex equilibrium between (i) viral expression driving (or) favoring proliferation and (ii) viral silencing preventing apoptosis. As conclusion, we propose a hypothetical model unifying all these mechanisms. [less ▲]

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See detailReduced cell turnover in lymphocytic monkeys infected by human T-lymphotropic virus type 1.
Debacq, Christophe; Heraud, Jean-Michel; Asquith, Becca et al

in Oncogene (2005), 24(51), 7514-23

Understanding cell dynamics in animal models have implications for therapeutic strategies elaborated against leukemia in human. Quantification of the cell turnover in closely related primate systems is ... [more ▼]

Understanding cell dynamics in animal models have implications for therapeutic strategies elaborated against leukemia in human. Quantification of the cell turnover in closely related primate systems is particularly important for rare and aggressive forms of human cancers, such as adult T-cell leukemia. For this purpose, we have measured the death and proliferation rates of the CD4+ T lymphocyte population in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) infected by human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). The kinetics of in vivo bromodeoxyuridine labeling revealed no modulation of the cell turnover in HTLV-1-infected monkeys with normal CD4 cell counts. In contrast, a substantial decrease in the proliferation rate of the CD4+ T population was observed in lymphocytic monkeys (e.g. characterized by excessive proportions of CD4+ T lymphocytes and by the presence of abnormal flower-like cells). Unexpectedly, onset of HTLV-associated leukemia thus occurs in the absence of increased CD4+ T-cell proliferation. This dynamics significantly differs from the generalized activation of the T-cell turnover induced by other primate lymphotropic viruses like HIV and SIV. [less ▲]

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