Human thymoma: Immunologic characteristics of the lymphocytic component

L. Lauriola, N. Maggiano, M. Marino, A. Carbone, M. Piantelli, P. Musiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several immunologic parameters were investigated in the lymphotic component of ten thymomas, characterized by a variable degree of lymphocytic infiltration. The majority of thymoma lymphocytes are T-cell in nature, as are lymphocytes from the normal thymus. Lymphocytes from six thymomas with moderate or predominant lymphocytic infiltrates were capable of forming stable E-rosettes, (mean percentage ±SD: 78.0 ± 5.2); binding peanut agglutinin (67.3 ± 8.6); and exhibiting receptors for the Fc-portion of IgM (21.8 ± 6.0) at percentages that were close to those found in the normal thymus. On the other hand lower numbers of stable E-rosetting cells (26.8 ± 8.7), PNA-positive cells (27.5 ± 12.4), and remarkably higher percentages of cells with receptors for IgM (54.0 ± 4.2) were demonstrated by the lymphocytic population of four thymomas with scant lymphocyte components. In addition, lymphocytes from tumors with scant lymphocyte components show a higher proliferative response to phytomitogen (PHA), therefore exhibiting immunologic features comparable to those of the more mature pool of normal medullary thymocytes. The observed immunologic similarities between the populations of lymphocytes from thymomas and from the normal thymus gland suggest an exclusively epithelial origin of the thymoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1992-1995
Number of pages4
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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