Lack of TdT and immunoglobulin and T-cell receptor gene rearrangements in Hodgkin's disease.

A. Villa, G. Cairo, M. R. Pozzi, L. Schiaffonati, L. Bardella, R. Lucchini, D. Delia, C. Besana, I. Biunno, P. Vezzoni

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To study the pathogenesis of Hodgkin's disease (HD), which today remains obscure, we have undertaken a combined experimental approach: determination of TdT and molecular analysis of rearrangements of immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH), T-cell receptor (TCR) beta chain and the T-cell rearranging gamma (TRG) genes. TdT determination indicate would the presence of immature cells that are not detected in the normal lymphnode; molecular analysis of the rearrangements of these genes would reveal the presence of even a small monoclonal population of both T and B lineages in the lymphnodes. We believe that the combination of these two types of analysis can indicate whether an expanding lymphoid clone is responsible for this disease. TdT determination was negative in all 41 cases tested. Gene rearrangements were studied in 10 cases for IgH and TCR beta genes and in 5 cases for the TRG gene. No abnormal band beside the germ-line ones was detected in any of our cases, ruling out the presence of a minor neoplastic population. We can explain these results in at least three ways: first, the neoplastic population could represent less than 1% of the total, thus escaping detection by current techniques; second, the neoplastic population is not lymphoid in nature or is composed of mature cells that do not rearrange Ig and TCR genes and therefore belongs to a true non-B, non-T lineage; third, the pathogenesis of HD is completely different from that of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL) and does not involve the clonal expansion of a cell frozen at a particular maturative stage as is thought to happen in most NHL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-70
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Markers
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology


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