Merkel cell polyomavirus and Langerhans cell neoplasm

Ichiro Murakami, Noriko Wada, Junko Nakashima, Mitsuko Iguchi, Makoto Toi, Yumiko Hashida, Tomonori Higuchi, Masanori Daibata, Michiko Matsushita, Takeshi Iwasaki, Satoshi Kuwamoto, Yasushi Horie, Keiko Nagata, Kazuhiko Hayashi, Takashi Oka, Tadashi Yoshino, Toshihiko Imamura, Akira Morimoto, Shinsaku Imashuku, Jean GogusevFrancis Jaubert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The relationship between various external agents such as pollen, food, and infectious agents and human sensitivity exists and is variable depending upon individual's health conditions. For example, we believe that the pathogenetic potential of the Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV), the resident virus in skin, is variable and depends from the degree of individual's reactivity. MCPyV as well as Epstein-Barr virus, which are normally connected with humans under the form of subclinical infection, are thought to be involved at various degrees in several neoplastic and inflammatory diseases. In this review, we cover two types of Langerhans cell neoplasms, the Langerhans cell sarcoma (LCS) and Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), represented as either neoplastic or inflammatory diseases caused by MCPyV. Methods: We meta-analyzed both our previous analyses, composed of quantitative PCR for MCPyV-DNA, proteomics, immunohistochemistry which construct IL-17 endocrine model and interleukin-1 (IL-1) activation loop model, and other groups' data. Results: We have shown that there were subgroups associated with the MCPyV as a causal agent in these two different neoplasms. Comparatively, LCS, distinct from the LCH, is a neoplastic lesion (or sarcoma) without presence of inflammatory granuloma frequently observed in the elderly. LCH is a proliferative disease of Langerhans-like abnormal cells which carry mutations of genes involved in the RAS/MAPK signaling pathway. We found that MCPyV may be involved in the development of LCH. Conclusion: We hypothesized that a subgroup of LCS developed according the same mechanism involved in Merkel cell carcinoma pathogenesis. We proposed LCH developed from an inflammatory process that was sustained due to gene mutations. We hypothesized that MCPyV infection triggered an IL-1 activation loop that lies beneath the pathogenesis of LCH and propose a new triple-factor model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number49
JournalCell Communication and Signaling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 22 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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