Loss of CD45 cell surface expression in canine T-zone lymphoma results from reduced gene expression

V. Martini, M. Cozzi, A. Aricò, G. Dalla Rovere, A. Poggi, F. Albonico, M. Mortarino, E. Ciusani, L. Aresu, S. Comazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Canine T-zone lymphoma (TZL) is a peculiar lymphoma subtype characterized by an indolent clinical course and aberrant CD45-negative phenotype, commonly recognized by flow cytometry (FC). Recent studies have described clinical presentation and behavior, but to date the mechanisms behind the loss of CD45 protein expression have never been investigated. The aims of this study were1) to confirm the absence of CD45 in canine TZL via the concomitant use of FC and immunohistochemistry with two different sources of antibody; and 2) to investigate the amount of CD45 transcript and the presence of CD45 gene in the neoplastic cells of dogs affected by TZL. 57 lymph node aspirates were included in the present study40 (70.2%) TZLs, 7 (12.3%) high grade T-cell lymphomas and 10 (17.5%) reactive lymph nodes. Neoplastic cells and normal T-cells were isolated from TZL and reactive lymph nodes, respectively, via cell sorting. Immunohistochemistry was performed on 2 TZL, 2 reactive lymph nodes and 2 Peripheral T-cell Lymphomas. Total RNA and genomic DNA were extracted from lymph-nodes aspirates. Two different quantitative real-time PCR experiments were designed, to determine the amount of the CD45 transcript and of the corresponding gene fragment. All TZL cases were negative for CD45 at immunohistochemistry. CD45 transcript amount was significantly lower in TZL compared to controls (p < 0.001). This difference was not significant (p = 0.584) for CD45 DNA load, that was similar between TZL and controls. Moreover, CD45 transcript amount was inversely correlated with the percentage of neoplastic cells in each TZL sample (p = 0.010). These results confirm that CD45 protein is lacking on cell surface irrespective of the technique and antibody source adopted. This phenotypic aberrancy is apparently due to the absence of gene transcription, as CD45 DNA was present, whereas CD45 transcript was virtually absent in the neoplastic cells. The data here reported support further studies investigating possible factors impairing CD45 gene transcription.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-19
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2017


  • CD45
  • DNA transcription
  • Lymphoma
  • mRNA
  • Protein expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • veterinary(all)


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