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Mod Pathol. 2002 May;15(5):556-64.

Real-time RT-PCR assay for quantifying cyclin D1 mRNA in B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.

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  • 1Department of Hematopathology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a distinct type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) characterized by the t(11;14)(q13;q32), in which the ccnd1 gene is juxtaposed with the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene, resulting in up-regulation of cyclin D1. Cyclin D1 overexpression is a useful finding that supports the diagnosis of MCL. In this study, we used a 5' --> 3' exonuclease-based real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method to quantify cyclin D1 mRNA in 108 B-cell NHL and nonneoplastic specimens, including 25 cases of MCL. Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) was also quantified to normalize cyclin D1 mRNA levels, and the data were expressed as a cyclin D1 to GAPDH ratio. At each anatomic site, MCL cases had higher cyclin D1 levels than other types of NHL or nonneoplastic specimens, without overlap. For example, in lymph node specimens, the median cyclin D1/GAPDH ratio was 147 (range, 94-160) in MCL, compared with 8.6 (range, 4-18) in chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma; 5.8 (range, 1.8-24) in follicular lymphoma; 4.8 in one case of marginal zone lymphoma; and 20.2 (range, 5.8-44) in reactive specimens. Statistical analysis using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that MCL cases had significantly higher cyclin D1 levels than other groups (P <.05). In peripheral blood specimens involved by MCL, cyclin D1 levels correlated with extent of involvement. We conclude that this real-time RT-PCR method to quantify cyclin D1 expression is helpful in distinguishing MCL from other types of B-cell NHL and from nonneoplastic specimens. This method is rapid, can be applied to the analysis of fluid specimens, and obviates the need for time-consuming and laborious detection methods that are required by traditional semi-quantitative RT-PCR methods.

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