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Am J Pathol. 1991 Jan;138(1):1-8.

Evolution of in vitro transformation and tumorigenesis of HPV16 and HPV18 immortalized primary cervical epithelial cells.

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Department of Pathology, New York University Medical Center, New York.


Cervical carcinoma develops through a progressive spectrum of premalignant intraepithelial lesions (CIN I-III), the majority of which are associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18. We established HPV16 and HPV18 immortalized human cervical epithelial cell lines and used them as a model to investigate the genesis and progression of cervical malignancy. The cell lines when cultured in vitro in a system mimicking their in vivo environment exhibit cytologic atypia and a variety of defects in morphologic differentiation at early passage compared to their normal counterparts. With increased passage, these alterations progress to more severe grades, histologically similar to CIN III; however only a limited number of the cell lines are tumorigenic, mimicking the epidemiologic evidence on the rate of conversion from premalignant to invasive carcinoma. The observed changes are not associated with alterations of viral DNA integration or expression and may reflect specific cellular events or changes in virus-host interactions associated with malignant progression.

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