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In situ hybridization of hepatitis B DNA in hepatitis B-associated glomerulonephritis

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Renal tissues from 43 of 49 children with hepatitis B virus-associated glomerulonephritis (HBV-GN) were examined for HBV DNA by in situ hybridization (ISH) assay within the last 10 years. HBV DNA was identified in 41 of the 43 cases (95.3%). HBV DNA was distributed generally in the nucleus and cytoplasm of epithelial cells and mesangial cells of glomeruli, and epithelial cells of renal tubules. HBV DNA also existed simultaneously in renal interstitial tissues in some of these cases. The positive results from HBV DNA ISH correlated well with HBV antigen assays. The analyses implied that the more extensive the existence of HBV DNA in the nephron unit and interstitial tissue, the more severe the clinical manifestation. The duration of proteinuria in cases with HBV DNA in renal tubules was much longer than in those with no HBV DNA in renal tubules. The persistence of the HBV genome or genes in the kidney could lead to the expression of viral antigens in renal tissues and might cause cellular pathological alteration. This would support utilization of antiviral therapy, such as cytokines, in the treatment of HBV-GN.

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Received December 10, 1996; received in revised form March 7, 1997; accepted July 30, 1997

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He, X., Fang, L., Zhang, Y. et al. In situ hybridization of hepatitis B DNA in hepatitis B-associated glomerulonephritis. Pediatr Nephrol 12, 117–120 (1998).

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