DNA amplification in glial cells of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy: an image analysis study.

Department of Pathology, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, Barcelona, Spain.
Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology (Impact Factor: 4.35). 07/1996; 55(6):729-33. DOI: 10.1097/00005072-199606000-00007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT JC virus (JCV), the agent of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), has been shown by both immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry to be associated with p53 protein stabilization. Since stabilization/inactivation of p53 is associated with the development of genomic instability, abnormal cell DNA contents are to be expected in JCV-infected cells of PML. This work explores that possibility by image analysis evaluation of DNA content in PML-infected oligodendrocytes and bizarre astrocytes. Brain paraffin sections of PML lesions from five adult male patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) were treated with the Feulgen technique to obtain a stochiometric staining of DNA and analyzed with a microscope image processor. Inclusion-bearing oligodendrocytes exhibited near tetraploid DNA indices in each of the five cases, whereas atypical astrocytes were in the hypertetraploid range in all cases and were polyploid in four instances. This evidence of DNA amplification in PML glial cells is congruent with the functional abolition of p53 protein in association with JCV infection and lends further support to the role of p53 as a keeper of diploid status and guardian of genomic stability.