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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1992 Mar;116(3):249-52.

Demonstration of passenger leukocytes in a case of Epstein-Barr virus posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder using restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia.


Lymphocytic populations of the posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder in a completely matched renal allograft and a recipient's regional lymph node were examined, using restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis with probe YNH24 to the variable number tandem repeat D2S44. The donor's DNA was found in lymphocytes extracted from both the grafted kidney and the recipient's lymph node 26 days after engraftment. In both these organs, the results of in situ hybridization with a terminally biotin-labeled oligonucleotide probe to the Not I tandem repeat region of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genome, as well as those of Southern blot hybridization to the EBV nuclear antigen region of the EBV genome, were positive. These findings confirmed the presence of the donor's lymphocytes ("passenger leukocytes") in the host nodal tissue in human renal transplantation and implicated EBV as playing a role in the development of posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder. It is speculated that the EBV proliferative stimulus contributed to the recipient and the donor lymphocyte expansions. Alternatively, the proliferation of both lymphocyte populations could result from a mutual stimulation by minor histocompatibility or other antigens.

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