Appearance of reverse transcriptase activity in human fetal thymus cells stimulated by human b-cell

Akira Ono, Hidetsugu Saito, Masaharu Tsuchiya, Tatsuya Nakamura, Toru Higashinakagawa, Shunzo Kondo, Hiroshi Yoshimatsu

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Abstract

We have investigated three human fetal thymuses by various induction procedures in a search for retrovirus. Thymus cells were cultured for 7 days together with mitomycin C-treated B cells and examined for reverse transcriptase activity. The following results were obtained. 1) RNA-directed DNA polymerase (RDDP) activity was detected in the culture medium on day 3 and persisted until day 7. This enzyme, after partial purification on phos-phocellulose column, showed template-primer specificity of a typical reverse transcriptase. 2) In unstimulated thymus cells, no reverse transcriptase activity was detected. 3) Stimulation with lymphocyte mitogens such as phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) and concanavalin A (Con A) exerted no effect on inducing the reverse transcriptase activity. 4) No reverse transcriptase activity was obtained in the culture medium of B cells pretreated with mitomycin C. Taken together these results indicate that in human fetal thymus cells reverse transcriptase activity is induced by human B cell stimulation, pointing to an intriguing possibility of protovirus activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalThe Keio Journal of Medicine
Volume32
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1983 Jan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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    Ono, A., Saito, H., Tsuchiya, M., Nakamura, T., Higashinakagawa, T., Kondo, S., & Yoshimatsu, H. (1983). Appearance of reverse transcriptase activity in human fetal thymus cells stimulated by human b-cell. The Keio Journal of Medicine, 32, 73-80. https://doi.org/10.2302/kjm.32.73