More MS news articles for Mar 2002

Expression of JC virus T-antigen in a patient with MS and glioblastoma multiforme

Neurology 2002;58:895-900
L. Del Valle, MD, S. Delbue, J. Gordon, PhD, S. Enam, S. Croul, MD, P. Ferrante, MD and K. Khalili, PhD
From the Center for Neurovirology and Cancer Biology (Drs. Del Valle, Gordon, Croul, and Khalihi, and S. Delbue and S. Enam), College of Science and Technology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA; and Don C. Gnocchi Foundation (S. Delbue and Dr. Ferrante), Laboratory of Biology, Milan, Italy.


To investigate the presence of human polyomavirus JC virus genome and the expression of the viral oncoprotein T-antigen in neoplastic cells of a patient with MS and a glioblastoma multiforme.


The postmortem examination of an immunocompetent patient with a neurologic disorder revealed the concurrence of MS plaques in the white matter of the brain and a glioblastoma multiforme in the region of the thalamus.

Methods and Results:

PCR analysis of DNA from demyelinated plaques and the tumor area using primers derived from specific regions of the JC virus genome revealed the presence of viral DNA corresponding to the viral early and late genes. Further examination of the samples for the JC virus regulatory region identified the presence of sequences identical to JC virus Mad-4 and JC virus W1 viral isolates in the tumor and the demyelinated regions. Results from immunohistochemistry showed the detection of the viral early protein, T-antigen, and the cellular tumor suppressor protein, p53, in the nuclei of neoplastic cells. Interestingly, expression of T-antigen, but not p53, was observed in neurofilament-positive cells with neuronal morphology and in glial fibrillary acidic protein–positive astrocytes in the cortex juxtaposed to the MS plaques. Examination of viral late gene expression by immunohistochemistry showed no evidence for viral capsid proteins, thus ruling out productive replication of JC virus in the tumor and MS demyelinated plaques.


These observations provide molecular and clinical evidence of the association of JC virus in the brain of a patient with concurrent glioblastoma multiforme and MS.

© 2002 American Academy of Neurology