The lineage and clonality of Hodgkin's disease (HD) were investigated by analyzing the organization of the immunoglobulin and T-cell receptor β-chain (T(β)) gene loci in 18 cases of HD, and for comparison, in a panel of 103 cases of B- and T-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs) and lymphoid leukemias (LLs). Sizable clonal B- or T-cell populations, representing ≥10% of the pathologic sample, were readily detectable by immunogenotypic analysis in all 103 NHLs and LLs but not in any of the 18 cases of HD. However, extremely minor clonal populations (≤1%) were detectable in 3 of 18 cases of HD. We demonstrated that these minor clonal populations do not correspond to Reed-Sternberg (RS) cells since clonal immunoglobulin or T(β) gene rearrangements are not detectable in cases of HD containing >25% RS cells. The number of RS cells present in these samples appeared to correlate directly with the pattern of gene rearrangements characteristic of polyclonal T cells. These studies demonstrate (i) that Sothern blot hybridization analysis for clonal immunoglobulin and T(β) gene rearrangements represents an accurate, objective tool in the differential diagnosis between HD and NHL; (ii) that HD is predominantly composed of polyclonal B and T cells; (iii) that minor clonal B- or T-cell populations unrelated to RS cells occasionally can be found in HD; and (iv) that RS cells do not represent clonal B- or T-cell expansions. Finally, our data preliminarily suggest that RS cells may represent polyclonal T-cell populations.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 1986|
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