Med Oncol. 2023 Oct 4;40(11):317. doi: 10.1007/s12032-023-02177-5.
Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the first identified human retrovirus responsible for two significant diseases: HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) and adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL). Although the majority of infected individuals remain asymptomatic carriers, a small percentage may develop ATLL or HAM/TSP. In tumorigenesis, a crucial process is angiogenesis, which involves the formation of new blood vessels. However, the precise mechanism of HTLV-1 associated angiogenesis remains unclear. This study aims to investigate the gene regulation involved in the angiogenesis signaling pathway associated with HTLV-1 infection. The research enrolled 20 male participants, including asymptomatic carriers and healthy individuals. Blood samples were collected and screened using ELISA for HTLV-1 confirmation, and PCR was performed for both Tax and HBZ for validation. RNA extraction and cDNA synthesis were carried out, followed by RT-qPCR analysis targeting cellular genes involved in angiogenesis. Our findings indicate that gene expression related to angiogenesis was elevated in HTLV-1 ACs patients. However, the differences in gene expression of the analyzed genes, including HSP27, Paxillin, PDK1, PTEN, RAF1, SOS1, and VEGFR2 between ACs and healthy individuals were not statistically significant. This suggests that although angiogenesis-related genes may show increased expression in HTLV-1 infection, they might not be robust indicators of ATLL progression in asymptomatic carriers. The results of our study demonstrate that angiogenesis gene expression is altered in ACs of HTLV-1, indicating potential involvement of angiogenesis in the early stages before ATLL development. While we observed elevated angiogenesis gene expression in ACs, the lack of statistical significance between ACs and healthy individuals suggests that these gene markers may not be sufficient on their own to predict the development of ATLL in asymptomatic carriers.