Hodgkin's disease: A disorder of dysregulated cellular cross-talk

Antonio Pinto, Valter Gattei, Vittorina Zagonel, Donatella Aldinucci, Massimo Degan, Angela De Iuliis, Francesca Maria Rossi, Francesca Tassan Mazzocco, Cristiana Godeas, Maurizio Rupolo, Dalisa Poletto, Annunziata Gloghini, Antonino Carbone, Hans Jürgen Gruss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hodgkin's disease (HD) is a peculiar type of human malignantly lymphoma characterized by a very low frequency of tumor cells, the so called Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (H-RS) cells, embedded in a hyperplastic background of non-neoplastic (reactive) cells recruited and activated by H-RS cells- derived cytokines. H-RS cells can be functionally regarded as antigen- presenting cells (APC) able to elicit an intense, but anergic and ineffective, T-cell mediated immune response along with a hyperplastic inflammatory reaction which involves several cell types including T- and B- cells, neutrophils, eosinophils, plasma cells, fibroblasts and stromal cells. In tissues involved by HD, malignant H-RS cells and their reactive neighboring cells are able to cross-talk via a complex network of cytokine- and cell contact-dependent interactions. As a result of such interactions, mediated by specific surface receptors and adhesion molecules on both tumor and non-neoplastic cells, H-RS cells may receive several proliferative and anti-apoptotic signals favoring the cellular expansion and tumor cell survival in HD. The ineffective T-cell immune response elicited by the abnormal APC function of H-RS cells may further contribute to the biologic and clinical progression of HD. Innovative therapeutic strategies aimed at blocking the pathways of dysregulated cellular cross-talk among H-RS cells and bystander reactive cell populations might be beneficial in the teatment of HD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-320
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Cell contact-dependent interactions
  • Cytokine network
  • Hodgkin's disease
  • Human lymphomas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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