Detection of HTLV-I tax-rex and pol gene sequences of thymus gland in a large group of patients with myasthenia gravis

Nino Manca, Francesca Perandin, Nicola De Simone, Franca Giannini, Domenico Bonifati, Corrado Angelini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-306
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Volume29
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2002

Keywords

  • HTLV-I/II
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • PCR
  • Sequence analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Immunology

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    Manca, N., Perandin, F., De Simone, N., Giannini, F., Bonifati, D., & Angelini, C. (2002). Detection of HTLV-I tax-rex and pol gene sequences of thymus gland in a large group of patients with myasthenia gravis. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 29(3), 300-306.