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Genetics Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 638273, 6 pages
Review Article

Immunopathogenic Role of Herpes Simplex Virus in Behçet’s Disease

1Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-752, Republic of Korea
2Department of Microbiology, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon 443-749, Republic of Korea
3Department of Dermatology, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon 443-749, Republic of Korea

Received 26 August 2013; Accepted 5 November 2013

Academic Editor: Fumio Kaneko

Copyright © 2013 Do Young Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The role of viral infections, such as herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection, in the pathogenesis of Behçet’s disease (BD) has been investigated for many years. HSV has been detected in peripheral blood leukocytes, saliva, and genital ulcers of patients with BD. Various cell adhesion molecules on cultured endothelial cells have been induced by HSV in a TNF-α dependent manner. In addition, a BD-like animal model was developed by inoculating ICR mouse earlobes with HSV, and antiviral treatment was effective in improving BD-like symptoms in this model. Still, there are several incompletely characterized proteins that possess antiviral properties and are being investigated as mediators of viral infection-related chronic inflammatory reactions. Although the role of HSV in the pathogenesis of BD remains to be fully established, recent research findings regarding HSV in BD have expanded our understanding of the disease and will hopefully lead to the development of more effective therapeutic agents in the near future.