Virologica Sinica

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 115–121 | Cite as

Expression of human cytomegalovirus components in the brain tissues of patients with Rasmussen’s encephalitis

  • Yao Zhang
  • Yisong Wang
  • Sichang Chen
  • Shuai Chen
  • Yuguang Guan
  • Changqing Liu
  • Tianfu Li
  • Guoming Luan
  • Jing An
Open Access
Research Article

Abstract

Rasmussen’s encephalitis (RE) is a rare and severe progressive epileptic syndrome with unknown etiology. Infection by viruses, including human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), has been speculated to be a potential trigger for RE. However, no viral antigens have been detected in the brains of patients with RE; thus, a possible clinical linkage between viral infections and RE has not been firmly established. In this study, we evaluated the expression of HCMV pp65 antigen in brain sections from 26 patients with RE and 20 non-RE patients by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, and assessed the associations between HCMV infection and clinical parameters. Elevated expression of HCMV pp65 protein and DNA was observed in 88.5% (23/26) and 69.2% (18/26) of RE cases, respectively. In the non-RE group, HCMV pp65 antigen was detected only in two cases (10%), both of which were negative for DNA staining. Additionally, the intensity of HCMV pp65 staining was correlated with a shorter duration of the prodromal stage, younger age of seizure onset, and more severe unilateral cortical atrophy. Elevated expression of HCMV pp65 was observed in RE brain tissue and was correlated with the clinical features of RE disease. In summary, our results suggested that HCMV infection may be involved in the occurrence and progression of RE disease. Thus, further studies are needed to determine whether early treatment with anti-HCMV antibodies could modulate the course of RE.

Keywords

Rasmussen’s encephalitis human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) pp65 epilepsy 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creative commons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yao Zhang
    • 1
  • Yisong Wang
    • 2
  • Sichang Chen
    • 1
  • Shuai Chen
    • 1
  • Yuguang Guan
    • 1
  • Changqing Liu
    • 1
  • Tianfu Li
    • 3
  • Guoming Luan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jing An
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Neurosurgery, Sanbo Brain HospitalCapital Medical UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology, School of Basic Medical ScienceCapital Medical UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Beijing Key Laboratory of EpilepsyBeijingChina
  4. 4.Center of EpilepsyBeijing Institute for Brain DisordersBeijingChina

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