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      An Atypical Pattern of Epstein-Barr Virus Infection in a Case with Idiopathic Tubulointerstitial Nephritis

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          Recently, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) received attention because a latent form of its infection in renal proximal tubular epithelial cells was found to cause idiopathic, chronic tubulointerstitial nephritis. In this report, we describe the case of a patient with a replicative form of EBV infection, chronic active EBV infection (CAEBV), who developed acute tubulointerstitial nephritis and minimal change nephrotic syndrome. A renal biopsy revealed papillary infoldings of atypical tubular epithelium and adjacent dense infiltration of lymphocytes. Using in situ polymerase chain reaction methods, we detected the EBV genome in some of the infiltrating lymphocytes, but not in the tubular epithelial cells. EBV-infected T cells are thought to activate other educated T cells, as well as secrete an unrestricted variety of cytokines, thus playing a pivotal role in CAEBV and its end organ disease. Therefore, in our case, the CAEBV activated, educated T cells may have followed the EBV-infected lymphocytes as they infiltrated into the peritubular interstitium, and promoted focal tubular epithelial atypia and minimal change nephrotic syndrome. The long-term observation of such patients is important because CAEBV may progress into lymphoproliferative diseases.

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          Most cited references 3

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          Tubulointerstitial renal disease.

          Tubulointerstitial damage, in progressive chronic renal disease of all types, arises because of a complex interplay between factors in the tubular lumen, tubular epithelial cells, peritubular capillaries, resident and infiltrating interstitial cells and extracellular matrix. Particularly in proteinuric renal disease, tubular epithelial cells play a central role in orchestrating these events. In response to mediators arising systemically, in the tubular lumen or from other renal cells, tubular epithelial cells undergo a complex series of structural and functional changes and produce a bewildering number of soluble and fixed mediators, which in turn lead to interstitial inflammation and fibrosis. Knowledge of these interactions has increased exponentially over the past decade, and has defined a number of new targets for treatment. Both expansion and consolidation of this knowledge is needed to determine which of these targets holds the most promise for future treatment.
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            Epstein-Barr virus genome-positive tubulointerstitial nephritis associated with immune complex-mediated glomerulonephritis in chronic active EB virus infection.

            Renal involvement is rare in chronic active Epstein-Barr (EB) virus infection. We report a case of a 7-year-old girl with recurrent EB virus infection. She had fever, lymphadenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, and persistently high titres of IgG to EB virus capsid antigen (VCA) and IgG to EB early antigen with low titres of IgM to VCA. She showed mild haematuria and proteinuria, but had no symptoms of renal failure. Renal biopsy revealed immune complex-mediated glomerulonephritis, which may have been due to a persistently high titre of antibody against EB virus. In addition, a peculiar form of tubulointerstitial nephritis was found. The morphology was characterized by a papillary infolding of the tubular epithelial cell layer into the tubular lumen. The interstitium was surrounded by the infolded epithelium and contained a large number of B-cell dominant lymphocytes. EBV-encoded RNA 1 (EBER-1) gene was detected in the nuclei of some tubuloepithelial cells by in situ hybridization and may have been associated with the pathogenesis of tubulointerstitial nephritis.
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              Detection of latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA in paraffin sections of nasopharyngeal carcinomas expressing no EBV-encoded small RNAs using in situ PCR


                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                October 2002
                02 September 2002
                : 92
                : 2
                : 440-444
                aDepartment of Nephrology, Saitama Medical College, Saitama, and bDepartment of Clinical Pathology, Showa Medical School Fujigaoka Hospital, Kanagawa, Japan
                63322 Nephron 2002;92:440–444
                © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 3, References: 15, Pages: 5
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