Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a demyelinating disease that is caused by JC papovavirus. The virus can be demonstrated in brains with PML using a variety of techniques. In situ polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a new method that combines the sensitivity of PCR with the histological localization of in situ hybridization. We here show that in situ PCR can detect JC virus in archival tissue sections of 3 cases of PML, including 1 of the original cases described in 1958 and 1 case that was fixed in formalin for 7 weeks. JC virus DNA was amplified directly on tissue and demonstrated in the characteristic enlarged oligodendrocytes and bizarre astrocytes. These data illustrate the utility of the in situ PCR technique in detecting JC virus in archival sections, including those fixed for prolonged periods, and provide a historical footnote to the original report of PML.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology