Castleman disease (CD) describes a spectrum of heterogeneous disorders defined by characteristic lymph node histopathology. Enlarged lymph nodes demonstrating CD histopathology can occur in isolation (unicentric CD; UCD) sometimes accompanied by mild symptoms, or at multiple sites (multicentric CD, MCD) with systemic inflammation and cytokine-driven multi-organ dysfunction. The discovery that Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus/ human herpesvirus (HHV)-8 drives MCD in a subset of patients has led to the hypotheses that UCD and MCD patients with negative HHV-8 testing by conventional methods may represent false negatives, or that these cases are driven by another virus, known or unknown. To investigate these hypotheses, the virome capture sequencing for vertebrate viruses (Vir-CapSeq-VERT) platform was employed to detect RNA transcripts from known and novel viruses in fresh frozen lymph node tissue from CD patients (12 UCD, 11 HHV-8-negative MCD [idiopathic MCD; iMCD], and two HHV-8-positive MCD) and related diseases (three T cell lymphoma and three Hodgkin lymphoma). This assay detected HHV-8 in both HHV-8positive cases; however, HHV-8 was not found in clinically HHV-8-negative iMCD or UCD cases. Additionally, no novel viruses were discovered, and no single known virus was detected with apparent association to HHV-8-negative CD cases. Herpesviridae family members, notably including Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), were detected in 7 out of 12 UCD and 5 of 11 iMCD cases with apparent correlations with markers of disease severity in iMCD. Analysis of a separate cohort of archival formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded lymph node tissue by In situ hybridization revealed significantly fewer EBV-positive cells in UCD and iMCD compared to tissue from HHV-8-positive MCD and EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disorder. In an additional cohort, quantitative testing for EBV by PCR in peripheral blood during disease flare did not detect systemic EBV viremia, suggesting detection lymph node tissue is due to occult, local reactivation in UCD and iMCD. This study confirms that HHV-8 is not present in UCD and iMCD patients. Further, it fails to establish a clear association between any single virus, novel or known, and CD in HHV-8-negative cases. Given that distinct forms of CD exist with viral and non-viral etiological drivers, CD should be considered a group of distinct and separate diseases with heterogeneous causes worthy of further study.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)