Aims: To investigate CD27 expression in splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL), an indolent low-grade B-cell lymphoma with constant involvement of the bone marrow, especially with an intrasinusoidal pattern. It is not clear if the neoplastic clone is composed of virgin or somatically mutated B cells. CD27 is reported to be a hallmark of memory B cells. Methods and results: We evaluated 64 bone marrow biopsy specimens (BMBs) from 36 patients with SMZL for the expression of CD27. For comparison, splenectomy specimens of patients with traumatic splenic rupture or with SMZL were used. All BMBs showed lymphomatous infiltration. When located in the marrow sinusoids, neoplastic cells were CD27- in all cases and therefore corresponded to naive B cells. In nodular/interstitial infiltration, the cells were CD27+ and therefore corresponded to memory B cells. No difference in immunohistochemical expression of B and T antibodies was found between intrasinusoidal and interstitial/nodular infiltration. CD27 was constantly expressed in the splenic marginal zone of normal spleen, surgically removed for trauma, and in seven out of 10 spleens with SMZL. Conclusion: We propose the existence of two different phases of neoplastic progression with, first, expansion of a virgin B clone in the bone marrow and, following exposure to antigen, a re-colonization of the bone marrow.
- Bone marrow
- Intrasinusoidal infiltration
- Naive and memory B cells
- Splenic marginal zone lymphoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology