Warthin-Finkeldey cells

A Warthin–Finkeldey cell is a type of giant multinucleate cell found in hyperplastic lymph nodes.
It is seen in 
  • Early in the course of measles 
  • In HIV-infected individuals
  • Kimura disease 
  • Rarely in a number of neoplastic (e.g. lymphoma) and non-neoplastic lymph node disorders.
Their origin is uncertain, but they have previously been shown to stain with markers similar to those of follicular dendritic cells, including CD21. Under the light microscope, these cells consist of a large, grape-like cluster of nuclei.

A related controversial MCQ came in UPSC CMS 2013

90. Warthin-Finkelday giant cells in lymphoid tissue are characteristic of which of the following infections?
(a) Mumps
(b) Measles
(c) Congenital cytomegalovirus infection
(d) HIV infection

Here both Measles and HIV both can be the answers. In this question Measles can be chosen because it is more common in Measles.

Some more information about Warthin Finkeldey cells:

The characteristic Warthin-Finkeldey syncytial giant cell may have 50 nuclei, many with intranuclear inclusions. Hyaline-like cytoplasmic inclusions may also be seen. - Curtsey 

A type of giant multinucleate cell found in various organs in infections with measles virus (Tajima and Kudow, 1976). Several subpopulations of such cells exist, depending upon the type of tissue in which they are found. Nozawa et al (1998) have reported that cells in the germinal centers of lymphoid tissue express B-cell markers. Cells in the interfollicular areas and thymus express T-cell markers.

The occurrence of such cells is not specific for measles but appears to be associated with reactive lymphatic proliferation (Kubota et al, 1988; Delsol et al, 1982; Kjeldsberg and Kim; 1981). Kamel et al (1992) have reported that Warthin-Finkeldey polykaryocytes studied in three cases of lymphoid proliferations express CD43, CD3, and OPD4, indicating that these cells are multinucleated T-lymphocytes.

Such cells are observed also during HIV infections. Orenstein (1998) has reported that in HIV infections these cells most likely represent a multinucleated form of follicular dendritic cells. Their immunophenotype is CD21(+), CD35(+),S100(+). The cells also express actin bundling protein and and vimentin.

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