Growth vs. DNA strand breaks in Hodgkin's disease: Impaired proliferative ability of Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells

Donatella Spina, Lorenzo Leoncini, Pauline Close, Tiziana Megha, Lorenzo Pacenti, Piero Tosi, Stefano Pileri, Elena Sabattini, Rainer Kraft, Jean A. Laissue, Hans Cottier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We re-appraised the cell renewal pattern in Hodgkin's disease (HD), considering that most, though not all, Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg (H-RS) cells exhibit abortive mitoses and that a substantial fraction of these exhibits DNA damage suggestive of imminent or actual cell death. Using combined immunohistochemistry and in situ end-labeling to detect strand breaks, the percentage per case of CD30+ (mainly H-RS) cells with DNA fragmentation (DNA fragmentation index [DFI]) was estimated. For each case, we registered the mitotic index (MI) of CD30+ cells and the percentage of Ki-67+ atypical large cells. To quantify the sum of our parameters for mitosis, whether successful or not, and DNA damage, we introduced the kinetic event index (KEI = MI + DFI). Only DFI and KEI distinguished significantly between mixed cellularity and nodular sclerosis HD. The values for MI and DFI, and therefore for KEI, of CD30+ and CD30- small lymphoid cells were proportional. The percentages of Ki-67+ large atypical cells (median 50%) did not correlate significantly with either MIs or DFIs of CD30+ cells. Cluster analysis revealed the existence, independent of histological subtype, of 2 large groups of HD with different KEIs. Our findings suggest that cell deletion plays an important role in HD. Further, it appears that proliferation-associated antigens in H-RS cells do not reflect successful cell production in this disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-183
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 10 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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