T cell immunity plays an important role in the clinicopathology of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated diseases. Acute EBV-induced infectious mononucleosis (IM) is a common self-limiting disease, however, other EBV-associated diseases, including chronic active EBV infection (CAEBV), NK cell lymphoma (NKL), and Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL), exhibit distinct clinical features. Chemokines are members of a family of small-secreted proteins. The relationships between chemokines and the chemokine receptor (R) are thought to be important for selectivity of local immunity. Some chemokines, chemokine R and cytokines closely associate with the T cell subtypes, Th1 and Th2 T cells and cytotoxic cells. To clarify the role of T cell immunity in EBV-associated diseases, we conducted gene expression profiling, using chemokine, chemokine R and cytokine DNA chips. Compared to EBV negative non-specific lymphadenitis, CAEBV and NKL exhibited diffuse down- and up-regulation, respectively, of these gene profiles. IM had a predominantly Th1-type profile, whereas HL had a mixed Th1/Th2-type profile. Reduction of the Th1-type cytokine interferon gamma (IFN-γ) in CAEBV was confirmed by Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, whereas IFN-γ expression was markedly enhanced in NKL, and moderately enhanced in IM. Compared to IM, CAEBV showed slight elevation of "regulated upon activation, normal T expressed and secreted" (RANTES), but almost all other genes assayed were down-regulated. NKL exhibited elevated expression of numerous genes, particularly IFN-γ inducible-10 (IP-10) and monokine induced by IFN-γ (MIG). HL showed variable elevated and reduced expression of various genes, with increased expression of IL-13 receptor and MIG. Our study demonstrated the enormous potential of gene expression profiling for clarifying the pathogenesis of EBV-associated diseases.
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