Human papillomavirus type 16 E6 gene expression in neoplastic oral lesions of immunosuppressed individuals

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Al-Bakkal, Ghasaq H.
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Several types of human Papillomavirus (HPV) have been found to be associated with specific benign and premalignant lesions of the oral cavity. Earlier reports have suggested that HPV might be involved in oral carcinogenesis. Although the causative role of HPV types 16 and 18 in uterine cervical cancer is well established, the association between such "high risk" HPV types and oral neoplastic lesions is less clear. Since a high prevalence of HPV-induced oral lesions is more common in immunocompromised individuals, and since immunosuppression is suspected to play a role in the etiology of oral cancer, therefore the primary aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of HPV type 16 E6 gene in oral neoplastic lesions in immunocompromised patients as compared with that of the immunocompetent individuals and to correlate the prevalence of this gene with the histopathologic features of epithelial dysplasia and malignancy. In order to pursue these goals, an in situ reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay was adopted to detect E6 mRNA in cells from oral epithelial exophytic lesions. Experiments were conducted to test the validity of the in situ RT-PCR method in paraffin-embedded sections. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)