Extrahepatic hepatitis B virus DNA sequences in patients with acute hepatitis B infection

Boris Yoffe, Dennis K. Burns, Harshika S. Bhatt, Burton Combes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

108 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent studies have demonstrated the presence of hepadnavirus-related nucleic acids in extrahepatic tissues in various animal models. The prevalence and biological significance of extrahepatic infection in humans remains undetermined. To characterize the tissue distribution and physical state of extrahepatic hepatitis B virus nucleic acids in acute hepatitis infection, we examined serum, liver and multiple extrahepatic tissues obtained at autopsy from two patients with fulminant hepatitis and one patient with resolving hepatitis who died of an unrelated cause. Southern-blot hybridization analysis was used to analyze the physical state of hepatitis B virus-related DNA. Hepatitis B virus-related RNA sequences were examined by slot-blotting total RNA extracted from corresponding tissues. Hepatitis B virus nucleic acids were demonstrated in lymph nodes, spleen, gonads, thyroid gland, kidneys, pancreas and adrenal glands. The most intense signal of hybridization was obtained with DNA extracted from lymph nodes. In general, the levels of hepatitis B virus RNA correlated with the amount of viral DNA. Fast-migrating DNA sequences resembling replicative intermediates and ranging in size from 1 to 3.2 kb were detected in EcoRI digests. Faint high-molecular-weight smears suggesting random integration also were observed. Remarkably, little or no hepatitis B virus nucleic acid was detected in the serum or liver. In control specimens obtained from hepatitis B virus carriers, most hybridizable hepatitis B virus nucleic acid was present in liver, but hepatitis B virus DNA was also detected in extrahepatic tissues. Finally, no specific histological changes were observed in extrahepatic tissues harboring hepatitis B virus. These findings demonstrate hepatitis B virus nucleic acids in extrahepatic sites in humans during acute infection and provide new insights into the pathogenesis of fulminant hepatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
JournalHepatology
Volume12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1990

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Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B virus
Infection
Nucleic Acids
Hepatitis
Liver
DNA
Hepadnaviridae
Lymph Nodes
RNA
Viral DNA
Gonads
Tissue Distribution
Adrenal Glands
Southern Blotting
Serum
Pancreas
Autopsy
Thyroid Gland
Spleen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology

Cite this

Extrahepatic hepatitis B virus DNA sequences in patients with acute hepatitis B infection. / Yoffe, Boris; Burns, Dennis K.; Bhatt, Harshika S.; Combes, Burton.

In: Hepatology, Vol. 12, No. 2, 08.1990, p. 187-192.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yoffe, Boris ; Burns, Dennis K. ; Bhatt, Harshika S. ; Combes, Burton. / Extrahepatic hepatitis B virus DNA sequences in patients with acute hepatitis B infection. In: Hepatology. 1990 ; Vol. 12, No. 2. pp. 187-192.
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