The presence of polyomaviruses and herpesviruses in adrenal tumors and their role in adrenal tumorigenesis has never been investigated, even though the adrenal gland seems to be a preferential site of infection by these viruses and adrenal steroid hormones have been shown to activate their replication. We examined in a large series of normal adrenal gland tissues (n=20) and adrenal tumors (n=107) the presence of herpesviruses and polyomaviruses sequences and gene expression, which were detected in a high proportion of both normal and neoplastic adrenal samples (overall, viruses were found in 15% normal adrenals, 27.8% benign adrenal tumors and 35.3% malignant tumors). The polyomaviruses SV40 and BK virus were more frequently found in malignant adrenal tumors, whereas herpesviruses, especially Epstein-Barr virus and human cytomegalovirus, were more frequently detected in functioning benign adrenocortical tumors, often as coinfection. Moreover, tumors from patients with severe hypercortisolism frequently showed herpesvirus coinfections at high viral genome copy number. Our study suggests that the adrenal gland could be a reservoir of infection for these viruses and that hormone overproduction by the adrenal gland could represent a trigger for virus reactivation. On the other hand, these viruses could also contribute to adrenal cell proliferation and tumorigenesis.

Detection of polyomaviruses and herpesviruses in human adrenal tumors

BARZON, LUISA;TREVISAN, MARTA;MASI, GIULIA;PACENTI, MONIA;SINIGAGLIA, ALESSANDRO;MACCHI, VERONICA;PORZIONATO, ANDREA;DE CARO, RAFFAELE;FAVIA, GENNARO;IACOBONE, MAURIZIO;PALU', GIORGIO
2008

Abstract

The presence of polyomaviruses and herpesviruses in adrenal tumors and their role in adrenal tumorigenesis has never been investigated, even though the adrenal gland seems to be a preferential site of infection by these viruses and adrenal steroid hormones have been shown to activate their replication. We examined in a large series of normal adrenal gland tissues (n=20) and adrenal tumors (n=107) the presence of herpesviruses and polyomaviruses sequences and gene expression, which were detected in a high proportion of both normal and neoplastic adrenal samples (overall, viruses were found in 15% normal adrenals, 27.8% benign adrenal tumors and 35.3% malignant tumors). The polyomaviruses SV40 and BK virus were more frequently found in malignant adrenal tumors, whereas herpesviruses, especially Epstein-Barr virus and human cytomegalovirus, were more frequently detected in functioning benign adrenocortical tumors, often as coinfection. Moreover, tumors from patients with severe hypercortisolism frequently showed herpesvirus coinfections at high viral genome copy number. Our study suggests that the adrenal gland could be a reservoir of infection for these viruses and that hormone overproduction by the adrenal gland could represent a trigger for virus reactivation. On the other hand, these viruses could also contribute to adrenal cell proliferation and tumorigenesis.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/2436390
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