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Blood. 1981 Sep;58(3):648-52.

Expression of common acute lymphoblastic leukemia antigen (CALLA) by lymphomas of B-cell and T-cell lineage.


Previous studies have demonstrated that the common acute lymphoblastic leukemia antigen (CALLA) is expressed by leukemic cells from approximately 80% of patients with non-T-cell ALL and 30%-50% of patients with chronic myelocytic leukemia in blast crisis. A small number of normal bone marrow and fetal liver cells also express CALLA, but the functional role of this molecule is unknown. In the present study, we have used a monoclonal antibody (J5) specific for CALLA to study the expression of this antigen in non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. Within the B-cell lymphomas, it was found the CALLA was expressed by almost all Burkitt's and nodular poorly differentiated lymphocytic lymphomas. Within the T-cell lymphomas, CALLA was expressed in 40% of patients with lymphoblastic lymphoma. Three of 3 Burkitt's lymphoma cell lines and three of eight T-lymphoblast cell lines were also found to express CALLA. Normal spleen, lymph node, and thymus cells were not reactive with J5 antibody. These findings indicate that expression of CALLA is not limited to relatively undifferentiated leukemic lymphoblasts but also occurs in more differentiated lymphoid malignancies. However, normal differentiated lymphoid cells in lymph node, spleen, and thymus, which have a phenotype similar to that of lymphoma cells, do not appear to express CALLA.

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