Transcription of six different HHV-8 specific mRNAs was examined in early- and late-stage KS primary lesions. Expression of the latency-associated T0.7 mRNA and of VP23 mRNA which is a specific marker of lytic/productive infection suggested that HHV-8 is secondarily recruited into the KS lesions by productively infected monocytes, macrophages. From these cells HHV-8 is transmitted to the KS spindle cells, which are latently infected. v-BCL-2, v-MCP-1 and v-IL-6 were not expressed in latently infected KS spindle cells, therefore the impact of these factors in KS pathogenesis appears to be low. By contrast, v-Cyclin D was highly expressed in almost all latently infected spindle cells and may therefore be an important factor triggering progression of late-stage KS lesions.