This subproject is one of many research subprojects utilizing the resources provided by a Center grant funded by NIH/NCRR. Primary support for the subproject and the subproject's principal investigator may have been provided by other sources, including other NIH sources. The Total Cost listed for the subproject likely represents the estimated amount of Center infrastructure utilized by the subproject, not direct funding provided by the NCRR grant to the subproject or subproject staff. Subproject #4: Gammaherpesvirus Latency and Immunity Scott A. Tibbetts The gammaherpesviruses Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) are associated with numerous malignancies in humans including lymphomas, carcinomas, and sarcomas, and are critical determinants of lymphoproliferative disease following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Gammaherpesviruses maintain life-long latent infection in restricted subsets of hematopoietic cells. Thus, defining cellular reservoirs that harbor latent virus and mechanisms that govern long-term infection is critical for designing rational strategies to prevent disease. In vivo studies of gammaherpesviruses in humans have been limited by the difficulties of working in the natural host. Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (gHV68) is genetically related to EBV and KSHV and causes lymphoma and lymphoproliferative disease in mice, providing a small animal model for mechanistic in vivo studies of the virus/host relationship. Like EBV and KSHV, gHV68 latently infects peripheral B cells and other hematopoietic cells including tissue macrophages and dendritic cells. It is not understood how gammaherpesvirues gain access to these cells or how they establish latent infection. We hypothesize that the bone marrow is a reservoir for gammaherpesvirus latency and that infection of hematopoietic cells in the bone marrow facilitates chronic infection and disease. We will (i) define whether the bone marrow is a reservoir for latency, (ii) define the cell types infected in the bone marrow, and (iii) determine the role of bone marrow latency in viral dissemination and immune evasion. The long-term goal is to understand how gammaherpesviruses establish life-long latency in host immune cells and how alterations in that relationship result in the development of disease.

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Louisiana State University Hsc Shreveport
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Finney, Alexandra C; Funk, Steven D; Green, Jonette M et al. (2017) EphA2 Expression Regulates Inflammation and Fibroproliferative Remodeling in Atherosclerosis. Circulation 136:566-582
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