KAPOSI'S sarcoma (KS) occurs more often in men than in women and HIV-l-associated KS has a high occurrence in homosexual men (over 30%). Most cultures of KS tumours yield cells with properties of hyperplastic (not malignant) endothelial cells under the control of several cytokines1á€-7. The role of HIV-1 may be in promoting high levels of some cytokines and providing stimulation to angiogenesis by the HIV-1 Tat protein8, which synergizes with basic fibroblast growth factor in promoting these effects9. Here we describe an immortalized AIDS-KS cell line (KS Y-l) and show that these cells produce malignant metastatic tumours in nude mice and are killed in vitro and in vivo (apparently by apoptosis) by a pregnancy hormone, the β-chain of human chorionic gonadotropin. Similarly, chorionic gonadotropin kills KS SLK, cells from another neoplastic cell line (established from a non-HIV-associated KS)10, as well as the hyper plastic KS cells from clinical specimens grown in short-term culture, but does not kill normal endothelial cells. These results provide evidence that KS can evolve into a malignancy and have implications for the hormonal treatment of this tumour.
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Lunardi-lskandar, Y., Bryant, J., Zeman, R. et al. Tumorigenesis and metastasis of neoplastic Kaposi's sarcoma cell line in immunodeficient mice blocked by a human pregnancy hormone. Nature 375, 64–68 (1995) doi:10.1038/375064a0
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