HBV and HIV expression in lymph nodes of HIV positive LAS patients: histology and in situ hybridization.
Pezzella M., Pezzella F., Rapicetta M., Morace G., Macchi B., Sorice F., Baroni CD.
The presence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was investigated using hybridization in 15 lymph nodes and one Kaposi's sarcoma skin lesion obtained from HIV-positive patients. Cryostat tissue sections were hybridized with chemically modified DNA probes for HBV and HIV. HIV genome was mainly observed in the cytoplasm of cells present in 7/15 lymph nodes and in the Kaposi's sarcoma skin lesion, thus indicating the expression of HIV replication. Control samples hybridized with an HTLV I probe were negative. HBV genome was found in the cytoplasm of lymphoid mononuclear cells in 2/7 lymph nodes, obtained from HIV+ patients without serum markers of ongoing HBV infection. Lymph node positivity for HBV DNA also confirms that lymphoid cells may be a target for HBV. Since HBV infection seems to precede HIV infection in nearly all patients, it is possible that it may represent a factor facilitating the development of the HIV-related disease.