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J Oral Pathol Med. 1989 Dec;18(10):565-72.

Fine structure of EBV-infected keratinocytes in oral hairy leukoplakia.

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Department of Stomatology, School of Dentistry, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0512.


We evaluated biopsy specimens of 42 cases of clinically suspected oral hairy leukoplakia for the pattern and frequency of ultrastructural alterations specific to epithelial cells infected with Epstein-Barr virus. Some structures could clearly be identified as Epstein-Barr virus at different stages of assembly, but other intranuclear and cytoplasmic alterations were not conclusively identifiable as any known structure. Keratinocytes producing Epstein-Barr virus contained intranuclear particles of different size and shape; some of them were arranged in a monodispersed pattern and others formed arrays. In contrast, both lesional keratinocytes not producing virus and keratinocytes in uninvolved mucosa contained intranuclear particles reminiscent of perichromatin granules. The nuclei of productive cells also contained marginated chromatin, tubular structures, and, occasionally, crystalline and fibrillar formations as well as enveloped virus. Formations of electron-dense bilayers were seen on both sides of the nuclear membrane. In the cytoplasm of productive cells we observed aggregates of parallel tubules and enveloped electron-dense bodies. Although many of these observations are of diagnostic and pathobiological significance, the morphogenesis, composition, and function of alterations with uncertain morphological identification remain unclear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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