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Comparing normal primary endocervical adenoepithelial cells to uninfected and influenza B virus infected human cervical adenocarcinoma HeLa cells
  1. D. O. Sioutopoulou*,
  2. E. T. Plakokefalos*,
  3. G. M. Anifandis*,
  4. L. D. Arvanitis*,
  5. I. Venizelos,
  6. R. M. Valeri,
  7. H. Destouni and
  8. N. C. Vamvakopoulos*
  1. * Department of Biology and Genetics, University of Thessalia Medical School, Larisa, Greece
  2. Cytopathology Department, Theagenio Anticancer Hospital, Alexandrou, Thessaloniki, Greece
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Nicholas C. Vamvakopoulos, PhD, 22 Papakyriazi Street, Larissa 412 22, Greece. Email: nvamvak{at}


Human adenocarcinoma HeLa cells surviving infection with low (10−9 units), medium (10−6 units), and high (10−2 units) influenza B titers were compared to their uninfected precursors and to normal endocervical adenoepithelial and metaplastic cells using Papanikolaou-staining method and immunocytochemistry. Normal primary endocervical and infected HeLa cells surviving infection shared similar morphologic, phenotypic, and divisional patterns that differed drastically from those of uninfected HeLa cells. The number of infected hosts surviving 6–7 days of viral exposure did not change during 3-week follow-up period, and their cyclin E levels suggested that they had been arrested to the G1 phase of the cell cycle by viral stress. Our findings suggest that in addition to apoptosis, nononcogenic viral stress activated the expression of endocervical metaplastic-like motifs in surviving hosts. A mechanism of cell response to nononcogenic viral stress was proposed to explain these findings. We conclude that nononcogenic respiratory viruses specifically target and eliminate abnormal cells ectopically overexpressing appropriate receptors and may complement current treatments of cervical cancer.

  • acute infection
  • HeLa cells
  • influenza type B virus
  • phenotypic conversion
  • viral hosts

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