Association of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-positive primary effusion lymphoma with expression of the CD138/syndecan-1 antigen

G. Gaidano, A. Gloghini, V. Gattei, M. F. Rossi, A. M. Cilia, C. Godeas, M. Degan, T. Perin, V. Canzonieri, D. Aldinucci, G. Saglio, A. Carbone, A. Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) represents a novel B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) type associated with Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus infection and typically growing as lymphomatous effusions in the body cavities. The precise B-cell subset from which PEL originates as well as the biologic mechanisms responsible for its peculiar growth pattern are unclear. In this study, we have analyzed PEL for the expression status of CD138/syndecan-1, a molecule selectively associated with late stages of B- cell differentiation and implicated in cell-to-cell and cell-to-extracellular matrix interactions. PEL patient samples (n = 7) end cell lines (n = 5) were investigated by multiple approaches, including immunocytochemistry, flow cytometry, RNA analysis, and Western blot studies. For comparison, lymphomatous effusions other than PEL (n = 13) and tissue-based NHL (n = 103) were also tested. Expression of CD138/syndecan-1 associates at high frequency with PEL (5 of 7 patient samples and 5 of 5 cell lines), whereas it is consistently absent among other lymphomatous effusions (n = 13). The CD138/syndecan-1 isoform expressed by PEL has an average molecular weight of 420 kD, which is substantially different from that of CD138/syndecan-1 molecules generally expressed by plasma cells. These data, along with previous immunophenotypic evidence, unequivocally define that PEL cells represent a preterminal stage of B-cell differentiation end may bear implications for the peculiar growth pattern of this lymphoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4894-4900
Number of pages7
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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