Infection with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is associated with a high incidence of lymphoma. Typically, the lymphomas are B-cell in origin, and although they occur in the setting of HIV-1 infection, historical studies have found no evidence for the presence of HIV-1 within the transformed B-cells. We describe a new class of large cell lymphoma wherein HIV p24 expression within the tumor specimens was found to be extremely high. In the first case, HIV was expressed in the tumor-associated transformed T-cells. In three other cases, HIV was found to be highly expressed in tumor-associated macrophages. These tumors exhibited a mixed immunophenotype histologically. Analysis by inverse polymerase chain reaction, using HIV long terminal repeat primers, demonstrated monoclonal HIV integration sites for all four tumors. Direct sequencing of the T-cell lymphoma inverse polymerase chain reaction products identified the HIV integration site within the fur gene, just upstream from the c-fes/fps protooncogene. Using segments of the fur gene as a probe, the other three monoclonal integration sites mapped to the same region. Although the integration and up-regulation of c-fes/fps was localized to the tumor cells within the T-cell lymphoma, the cells containing the monoclonal HIV in the other mixed immunophenotype lymphomas are currently unknown. These observations suggest that HIV may contribute directly to lymphomagenesis and identify a common site of HIV integration within a subset of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome lymphoma.
Supported in part by The Frank A. Campini Foundation (B. S.) and NIH Grant CA54743 (M. S. M.).