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Mod Pathol. 1992 Jul;5(4):444-8.

Detection of amplified HPV 6 and 11 DNA in vulvar lesions by hot start PCR in situ hybridization.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, SUNY, Stony Brook.


We analyzed the distribution pattern of human papillomavirus (HPV) 6 and 11 DNA in vulvar lesions by in situ hybridization after amplification by the "hot start" polymerase chain reaction (PCR). HPV DNA was routinely detected in granular layer cells showing perinuclear halos and nuclear atypia by in situ hybridization with or without PCR. Cells that lack these changes rarely exhibited HPV DNA with standard in situ hybridization. After amplification, in situ analysis showed that many of the cells that lacked halos and atypia did contain HPV DNA and that the hybridization signal often localized to areas where there was a thickened granular layer. HPV DNA was not noted in the basal cells. The one copy of HPV 16 in SiHa cells was detectable after PCR with a single primer pair by in situ analysis only if the hot start modification was employed. Prior reports describing the PCR in situ methodology noted the need for from five to seven primer pairs. The hot start technique, which may be done by withholding the DNA polymerase until the temperature is sufficiently high to disfavor nontarget specific pathways, allowed the use of a single primer pair and showed that the degree of target-specific amplification, and not the size of the amplified product, determines the success of the PCR in situ technique.

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