DNA content was related to the type of human papillomaviruses (HPV) in a series of 87 lesions of the lower female genital tract. Nineteen condylomas, 32 biopsies with slight dysplasia, 19 with moderate dysplasia and 17 with severe dysplasia-carcinoma in situ were studied. HPV status was assessed by in situ hybrization (ISH) with biotinylated probes(HPV 6/11, 16/18, 31/35/51) and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (HPV 16,18). DNA ploidy was measured by Feulgen DNA cytophotometry. Positivity for HPV by ISH and PCR was obtained in 48% and 59% of the biopsies, respectively. Seventy-eight per cent of the lesions were diploid or tetraploid and the remaining 22% were aneuploid. The percentage of aneuploid DNA increased with the severity of the lesions. By comparing DNA-ploidy and HPV types by ISH, diploid DNA was more frequently found in HPV 6/11 positive lesions (93%) than in HPV 16/18 positive (81%) or HPV 31/35/51 positive (57%). PCR was more sensitive for detecting HPV in aneuploid dysplastic lesions than ISH, probably indicating the HPV copies are scarce in such lesions. In summary, the results indicate some relationship between aneuploidy and HPV types 16/18 and 31/35/51, which supports an oncogenic potential of these subtypes of HPV.
- in situ hybridization
- lower female genital tract
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