Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) have been implicated in the development of a number of human malignancies, but direct tests of their involvement have not been possible. We describe a system in which human skin from various sites was infected with HPV type 11 (HPV-11) extracted from vulvar condylomata and was grafted beneath the renal capsule of athymic mice. Most of the skin grafts so treated underwent morphological transformation, resulting in the development of condylomata identical to those which occur spontaneously in patients. Foreskins responded with the most vigorous proliferative response to HPV-11. The lesions produced the characteristic intranuclear group-specific antigen of papillomaviruses. Both dot blot and Southern blot analysis of DNA from the lesions revealed the presence of HPV-11 DNA in the transformed grafts. These results demonstrate the first laboratory system for the study of the interaction of human skin with an HPV. The method may be useful in understanding the mechanisms of HPV transformation and replication and is free of the ethical restraints which have impeded study. This system will allow the direct study of factors which permit neoplastic progression of HPV-induced cutaneous lesions in human tissues.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science