Re: The HUT 78 cell line 17 July 2004
Previous Rapid Response Next Rapid Response Top
Christopher J Noble,
postdoc
Australia

Send response to journal:
Re: Re: The HUT 78 cell line

The Perth Group seem to be grasping at straws here. Adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) is not Sezary's Syndrome (SS) or Mycosis Fungoides (MF). Originally the patient from whom the HUT102 cell line was established was diagnosed with MF. Later it was found that the patient in fact had ATL. The patient from whom the HUT78 cell line was establihed had SS. This has been documented in the references I gave.

The Perth Group then write:

Christopher Noble knows that a cell infected with a retrovirus, in order to express retrovirus particles and antigens, must be activated/stimulated, that is the cell must be treated with oxidising agents.2 Neither in the 1983 paper nor in his 1984 papers where he reported the H9 clone to be HTLV negative is there any mention that the HUT78 (H9) cells were stimulated.

Do the Perth Group seriously expect us to believe that Gallo's group did not stimulate the HUT78 cell line when they were looking for retroviruses? Face it the HUT78 cell line is not infected with HTLV-I. It does not produce HTLV-I particles or antigens. Gallo's group established this before 1983.

Gallo most certainly has never claimed that HUT78 is infected with HTLV-I. Is it too much to ask you to admit that you lied?

I will ask you a direct question. Has Gallo ever claimed that the HUT78 cell line was infected with HTLV-I?

Please answer with a yes or a no.

Nobody in the world apart from the Perth Group are claiming that HUT78 is infected with HTLV-I.

This cell line is used by many researchers around the world. If the Perth Group really want us to believe that it is infected with HTLV-I they can buy some and stimulate it with PHA or whatever they want and see whether they can find HTLV-I antigens, RNA or proviral DNA.

There is certainly an abundance of evidence to contradict the Perth Group's claims. Researchers found that HUT78 cells were negative for HTLV-I sequences before innoculation with cell-free HTLV-I and positive afterwards ( Cell-free entry of human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 to mouse cells..

This whole discussion takes on a surreal tone when we consider that HTLV-I has never been isolated according to the Perth Group "rules for retroviral isolation". If we apply Perth Group logic (The Perth Group has argued that to date there is no proof for the existence of HIV and thus a retrovirus HIV cannot be the cause of AIDS) then we must also conclude that there is no proof for the existence of HTLV-I and thus a retrovirus HTLV-I cannot be the cause of ATL and it cannot infect cell lines like HUT78 and HUT102.

Competing interests: None declared