Epstein-Barr viral genome in lymph nodes from patients with Hodgkin's disease may not be specific to Reed-Sternberg cells

A. Masih, D. Weisenburger, M. Duggan, J. Armitage, R. Bashir, D. Mitchell, R. Wickert, D. T. Purtilo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

A possible etiologic role for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in Hodgkin's disease (HD) was investigated by probing for EBV genome in 52 biopsy specimens involved with HD and 43 hyperplastic lymph node specimens. Using dot-blot hybridization (Bam HIW probe), Southern blot hybridization (Xho I probe), and polymerase chain reaction analyses, 27%, 27%, and 58% of the nodes with HD were positive for EBV genome, respectively, as compared to 16%, 14%, and 43% in the hyperplastic lymph nodes. Clonal and nonclonal episomal EBV and linear replicating EBV genome were present in both conditions. Immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangements were found in two clonal and two nonclonal EBV-positive HD cases, but not in the lymphoid hyperplasia cases. These findings and other recent reports showing EBV genome in benign lymphoid cells by in situ hybridization in Hodgkin's disease suggest that the characteristics of EBV infection in HD could be explained by the reactive cellular milieu, especially in the setting of defective immunity. The identification of EBV genome in Reed-Sternberg cells may, therefore, be a nonspecific phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Volume139
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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