Conditions affecting the immunohistochemical detection of HIV in fixed and embedded renal and nonrenal tissues.

T. Nadasdy, O. Hanson-Painton, L. D. Davis, K. W. Miller, L. E. DeBault, D. K. Burns, F. G. Silva

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14 Scopus citations


A number of studies have suggested that HIV infection can be detected in a variety of routinely fixed archival tissues using antibodies to various viral proteins. In order to study this immunocytochemical approach, paraffin sections were examined with a large panel of commercially available monoclonal antibodies against the various HIV proteins (5 antibodies to p24, 1 to p17, 1 to gp41, and 1 to gp120) using a streptavidin-biotin method. A polyclonal antibody against p24 was also tested. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded HIV infected CEM E5 T cells were used as positive controls. Tissues from AIDS patients included 31 kidneys, 8 lymph nodes, 2 spleens and 3 brains. Non-AIDS tissues examined were 6 renal biopsies with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, 5 with interstitial nephritis, 6 reactive lymph nodes, and a brain with encephalitis, all from patients not known to be at high risk for HIV infection. Additional negative controls included: 1) replacement of primary antibody with a hybridoma derived mouse monoclonal IgG1 standard, 2) omission of the primary antibody, and 3) sections of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded CEM E5 T cells cultures not infected with HIV. Competition experiments with excess recombinant p24 protein were also performed. False positive staining with the IgG1 standard or with the antibodies to HIV proteins was frequently seen in tissues with pathologic findings (inflammation, hyalin degeneration), particularly following protein digestion. Protein digestion also had a major impact on specific staining. Digestion with proteinase K abolished specific staining for the core proteins of the virus (p17, p24) on the positive control sections.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-291
Number of pages9
JournalModern pathology : an official journal of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, Inc
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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