Human papillomaviruses and cervical cancer: analysis of histopathologic features associated with different viral types

Hum Pathol. 1988 Jun;19(6):697-704. doi: 10.1016/s0046-8177(88)80176-x.


The histopathologic features of 41 cervical carcinomas were correlated with the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV). Southern blots of DNA extracted from the tumors were hybridized with 32P-labeled type specific probes for HPV 6, 11, 16, 18, and 31. HPV was found in 26/41 (63%) of the tumors. The HPV types were: HPV 16 in 17 tumors (41%), HPV 18 in six tumors (15%) and HPV 31 in two tumors (5%). No tumor hybridized to either HPV 6 or HPV 11. HPV was identified in all histologic subtypes of cervical carcinoma; however, different HPV types were associated with specific histologic features. HPV 18 was identified in four of eight adenocarcinomas, while HPV 16 was found in only one. HPV 16 was most strongly associated with the keratinizing tumors. It was found in 10/13 (77%) of the large cell keratinizing (LCK) and in only 4/16 (25%) of the large cell nonkeratinizing cervical carcinomas (LCNK). A mucoepidermoid with extensive keratinization and pearl formation also contained HPV 16. One of three additional adenosquamous carcinomas had HPV 31, as did one LCNK tumor. In one LCK tumor, a HPV was identified that hybridized to both HPV 16 and 18. The LCNK group contained the highest percentage of tumors in which no papillomavirus DNA was identified (9/16 lacked HPV DNA). No papillomavirus was detected in six tumors from other sites or in five cervical specimens with no histologic evidence of HPV infection. These data indicate that HPV is involved in all major histologic types of cervical carcinoma, and suggest that the different HPV types transform slightly different cell populations, or that transformation by HPV 18 tends to induce adeno-differentiation while HPV 16 leads to squamous maturation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / microbiology
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / microbiology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / secondary
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Papillomaviridae / classification
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / microbiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology*


  • DNA, Viral