We report in this study the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the amplification of the genomic DNA, isolated from thymic tissue, using me primers flanking HTLV-I/II tax-rex genes and the sequence method to analyze the HTLV-I pol sequence of 27 Italian patients with myasthenia gravis. These molecular methods showed that 92.5% of patients tested positive for tax gene and 55% for pol genes; 55.5% samples were positive for both the tax gene of HTLV-I/II, and the pol gene of HTLV-I. Histologic investigation of the thymus showed that 15 samples had thymic hyperplasia, 93% tested positive for the tax gene, and 40% tested positive for both the tax and pol genes of HTLV-I. In contrast, 91.6% of thymoma-positive samples were positive for tax gene I/II and 75% positive for both genes, tax and pol type I. The sequence analysis of PCR product for tax and pol genes confirmed that these amplified products were HTLV-I, with minimal variations. Our date suggested that either HTLV-I or part of the virus genome is involved in the etiopathogenesis of myasthenia gravis.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 1 2002|
- Myasthenia gravis
- Sequence analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas