Evidence of viral infection of the prostate is presented, and consists of viral isolation as well as antigen and genomic detection of integrated or episomal forms. Prior infection from "ancient" exogenous retroviruses is suggested by residual endogenous forms. The presence of an antiviral defense system based upon interferon induction has been suggested for the testes. I suggest that a similar system is also present in the prostate. Prostate cell lines (or tissue) can be tested directly for expression of interferon-γ (IFN-γ). However, enhanced expression should be induced by IFN inducers such as bispecific oligonucleotides having double stranded regions or poly I:C. RNA can be extracted and RT-PCR performed using commercially available primers for gamma interferon. Evidence for the presence of an interferon based anti-viral system would be indicated not only by interferon expression, but also its enhanced expression following exposure to the inducers. Gamma interferon is primarily associated with lymphocytic expression and immune regulation. Demonstration of its controlled expression in non-immune cells would support the hypotheses suggested here.
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