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Virus Res. 2004 May;101(2):163-73.

In Hodgkin's disease Reed-Sternberg cells and normal B-lymphocytes are infected by related Epstein-Barr virus strains.

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Centre de Physiopathologie Toulouse Purpan (C.P.T.P), Pavillon Lefevre Bâtiment B, CHU Purpan, Avenue de Grande Bretagne, BP 3028, 31024 Toulouse Cédex 3, France.


In Hodgkin's disease (HD), both neoplastic Reed-Sternberg (RS) cells and bystander B-lymphocytes may be infected by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). We postulated that if tumorigenic EBV strains did exist, they would be preferentially found in consistently EBV-associated tumors, such as RS cells, and differ significantly from the strains present in other, non-pathological sites of the same patients. In the present study we have compared LMP1-BNLF1 polymorphism of EBV strains infecting RS cells and B-lymphocytes in lymph nodes effected by HD on the one hand, and bystander B-lymphocytes in reactive lymph nodes on the other. It appeared that viral strains detected in HD tissues including RS cells and bystander B-lymphocytes were infected by different, but related EBV strains and were four times more polymorphic than EBV strains infecting bystander B-lymphocytes of reactive lymph nodes. The question arises as to the biological significance of these observations and the origin and chronology of multiple infections in the same patient. Since RS cells are derived from B-lymphocytes it is conceivable that the latter events could have occurred during the proliferation of bystander B-lymphocytes and their EBV episome following an antigenic stimulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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