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J Pathol. 2007 Dec;213(4):429-40.

Selective loss of B-cell phenotype in lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma.

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  • 1LRF Immunodiagnostics Unit, Nuffield Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK.


The neoplastic Reed-Sternberg cells characteristic of classical Hodgkin's lymphoma (cHL) are of B-cell origin but they almost always show striking loss of a range of B-cell-associated molecules. In contrast, the neoplastic cells found in lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin's lymphoma (LPHL) (L&H cells) are traditionally thought of as possessing the full repertoire of features associated with germinal centre B cells (eg BCL-6 expression, 'ongoing' Ig gene mutation). In the present paper, we report an extensive phenotypic analysis of L&H cells which revealed down-regulation of a number of markers associated with the B-cell lineage (eg CD19, CD37) and with the germinal centre maturation stage (eg PAG, LCK). The promoter methylation status of three of these down-regulated genes (CD10, CD19, and LCK) was further studied in microdissected L&H cells, and this revealed that their promoters were unmethylated. In contrast, these genes showed promoter methylation in cell lines derived from CHL. Further investigation of the mechanisms responsible for the deregulation of these molecules in L&H cells may provide new insights into the genetic abnormalities underlying LPHL.

(c) 2007 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland

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