Lack of association of herpesviruses with brain tumors
Gliomas are the most frequent primary brain tumors in humans. Many studies have been carried out on their etiology; however, the only confirmed risk factors are hereditary predisposing conditions and high dose of ionizing radiation. Recently, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) gene products and nucleic acids were reported to be present in all of 27 glioma samples investigated in contrast to other brain tissues, and it was hypothesized that HCMV might play a role in glioma pathogenesis. To evaluate these findings, samples of 40 gliomas, 31 meningiomas, and 6 acoustic neurinomas (ACNs) were analyzed for the presence of HCMV macromolecules using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunohistochemistry. Additionally, corresponding blood samples from 72 patients were analyzed for the presence of HCMV DNA to check for a possible contamination of tumor tissues with HCMV-infected blood cells. No HCMV DNA sequences were found, neither in brain tumor tissues nor in corresponding blood samples. Immunohistochemistry did not detect HCMV-specific proteins. Addressing a possible role of other herpesviruses as has been suggested in seroepidemiological studies, seroprevalences of antibodies to HCMV, herpes simplex virus (HSV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and varicella-zoster virus (VZV) were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Serological analyses of brain tumor patients showed no significant differences in the prevalences of antibodies to HCMV, HSV, EBV, or VZV compared to the general population. Thus, the data of the present study do not support the hypothesis of an association of herpesviruses with the development of primary brain tumors.
KeywordsEpstein-Barr virus herpes simplex virus human cytomegalovirus varicella-zoster virus
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Becker N (1998). Atlas of cancer mortality in the Federal Republic of Germany. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
- Britt W, Alford C (1996). Cytomegalovirus. In: Fields virology. Fields B, Knipe D, Howley P (eds). Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven Publishers, pp 2493–2523.Google Scholar
- Mangano M, Hodinka R, Spivack J (1992). Detection of human cytomegalovirus by polymerase chain reaction. In: Diagnosis of human viruses by polymerase chain reaction technology. Becker G, Darai G (eds). Berlin New York: Springer-Verlag, pp 147–156.Google Scholar
- Menegoz F, Little J, Colonna M, Arslan A, Preston-Martin S, Schlehofer B, Blettner M, Howe GR, Ryan P, Giles GG, Rodvall Y, Choi WN (2002). Contacts with animals and humans as risk factors for adult brain tumours. An international case-control study. Eur J Cancer 38: 696–704.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Preston-Martin S, Mack W (1996). Neoplasms of the nervous system. In: Cancer epidemiology and prevention. Schottenfield D, Fraumeni J (eds). New York: Oxford University Press, pp 1231–1291.Google Scholar
- RKI. (2000a). Humanes Cytomegalievirus (HCMV); Stellungnahmen des Arbeitskreises Blut des Bundesministeriums für Gesundheit. Bundesgesundheitsblatt 70: 653–659.Google Scholar
- RKI. (2000b). Varizellen, Herpes Zoster. Epidemiol Bull 46: 368–369.Google Scholar
- Schlehofer B, Blettner M, Preston-Martin S, Niehoff D, Wahrendorf J, Arslan A, Ahlbom A, Choi WN, Giles GG, Howe GR, Little J, Menegoz F, Ryan P (1999). Role of medical history in brain tumour development. Results from the international adult brain tumour study. Int J Cancer 82: 155–160.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wolff D, Sinzger C, Drescher P, Jahn G, Plachter B (1994). Reduced levels of IE2 gene expression and shutdown of early and late viral genes during latent infection of the glioblastoma cell line U138-MG with selectable recombinants of human cytomegalovirus. Virology 204: 101–113.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar