Enhanced Replication of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 in Human Cells

C. S. Miller, K. O. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The effects of DNA-damaging agents on the replication of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) were assessed in vitro. Monolayers of human lung fibroblast cell lines were exposed to DNA-damaging agents (methyl methanesulfonate [MMS], methyl methanethiosulfonate [MMTS], ultraviolet light [UV], or gamma radiation [GR]) at specific intervals, before or after inoculation with low levels of HSV-1. The ability of cell monolayers to support HSV-1 replication was measured by direct plaque assay and was compared with that of untreated control samples. In this system, monolayers of different cell lines infected with identical HSV-1 strains demonstrated dissimilar levels of recovery of the infectious virus. Exposure of DNA-repair-competent cell cultures to DNA-damaging agents produced time-dependent enhanced virus replication. Treatment with agent before virus inoculation significantly (p < 0.025) increased the number of plaques by 10 to 68%, compared with untreated control cultures, while treatment with agent after virus adsorption significantly increased (p<0.025) the number of plaques by 7 to 15%. In a parallel series of experiments, cells deficient in DNA repair (xeroderma pigmentosum) failed to support enhanced virus replication. These results suggest that after exposure to DNA-damaging agents, fibroblasts competent in DNA repair amplify the replication of HSV-1, and that DNA-repair mechanisms that act on a variety of chromosomal lesions may be involved in the repair and biological activation of HSV-1 eenomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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