The systemic distribution of Epstein-Barr virus genomes in fatal post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorders. An in situ hybridization study

Am J Pathol. 1991 Apr;138(4):1027-33.


The systemic distribution of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genomes was studied in paraffin-embedded tissues from 12 fatal cases of Post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD), using an in situ hybridization technique employing an alpha-35S-dCTP-radiolabeled BamHI-W fragment of EBV DNA. The presence of EBV was documented in various PTLD-involved organs. The hybridization signal for the virus localized predominantly in the abnormal lymphoid cells, but signals also were detected in hepatocytes and/or adrenal cortical cells in five cases. The distribution of autoradiographic label within the lymphoid cells was focal and its intensity varied from field to field suggesting a nonuniformity of the viral genomic load in the infected tissues. Recruitment of EBV genome-bearing cells was not observed into inflammatory mononuclear infiltrates found in organs without histopathologic evidence of PTLD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Glands / microbiology
  • Adrenal Glands / pathology
  • Bone Marrow / microbiology
  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Digestive System / microbiology
  • Digestive System / pathology
  • Genes, Viral*
  • Heart / microbiology
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / microbiology
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / etiology
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / genetics*
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / mortality
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization*
  • Spleen / microbiology
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Transplantation / adverse effects*