Inclusion body myositis: Investigation of the mumps virus hypothesis by polymerase chain reaction

Simon A. Fox, Bryan K. Ward, Peter D. Robbins, Frank L. Mastaglia, Nigel R. Swanson

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Inclusion body myositis (IBM) is a distinctive form of chronic inflammatory myopathy characterized pathologically by the finding of rimmed vacuoles and 15-18nm microtubular filamentous inclusions in muscle fiber nuclei and cytoplasm. The observation that these filaments resembled nucleocapsids of the paramyxovirus group and showed immunoreactivity with mumps virus (MV) antibodies has led to a long-standing postulate that IBM may be a 'slow' mumps infection. We searched for the presence of MV RNA in 34 muscle biopsies (17 frozen and 17 paraffin-embedded) from 18 patients with IBM and 43 control biopsies (mainly from patients with other forms of inflammatory myopathy) using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The MV PCR was shown to be sensitive and specific for MV strains (including J-L) and the integrity of muscle RNA extracts was confirmed by PCR detection of constitutive Ableson tyrosine kinase mRNA. MV RNA was not found in any biopsy from the IBM group nor any of the control cases. Our results therefore do not support the mumps hypothesis for IBM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996


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