The polymerase chain reaction was used to detect expression of retroviral sequences with oligonucleotide primers derived from conserved regions of the retroviral genome. Four primer pairs derived from and one from were used in amplification of reverse-transcribed total RNA prepared from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of seven blood donors. The amplification pattern was the same from each of the seven samples. Sequencing of cloned amplification products revealed that at least three subclasses of sequences related to the human endogenous retroviruses (HERV) RTVL-H, HERV-E and HERV-K, are expressed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of healthy individuals. This has not been previously reported.


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