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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Incidence and nature of cytoplasmic hepatitis B antigen in hepatocytes.

Hepatitis B antigen (HB Ag) in the hepatocytic cytoplasm is detected by immunofluorescence after reaction with fluoresceinated antiserum to HB Ag or by electron microscopy as numerous 20- to 30-nm. tubular and circular structures in dilated cisternae of excess endoplasmic reticulum. On light microscopy, these hepatocytes can be recognized because their cytoplasm has a ground-glass appearance and stains with Gomori's aldehyde fuchsin. Aldehyde fuchsin-positive ground-glass hepatocytes were detected in all 14 asymptomatic carriers of HB Ag and in 16 of 60 HB Ag-seropositive patients with chronic hepatitis, but not in HB Ag-seropositive acute viral hepatitis or in various other HB Ag-seronegative liver diseases. These cells are helpful in identifying on light microscopy HB Ag carriers and a portion of patients with HB Ag-positive chronic hepatitis. Nuclear HB Ag did not stain with aldehyde fuchsin. Nucleic acids were not detected in the ground-glass cytoplasm by special stains at the light or electron microscopic level. We suggest that the tubular and circular structures in the hepatocytic cytoplasm are coat material of the hepatitis B virus or virally coded host cell reaction product rather than the complete hepatitis B virus.[1]


  1. Incidence and nature of cytoplasmic hepatitis B antigen in hepatocytes. Gerber, M.A., Hadziyannis, S., Vernace, S., Vissoulis, C. Lab. Invest. (1975) [Pubmed]
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