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J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000 Apr 19;92(8):628-35.

Stromal cell-derived factor-1 as a chemoattractant for follicular center lymphoma B cells.

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  • 1Laboratory of Oncology, G. Gaslini Institute, Genoa, Italy.



Follicular center lymphoma displays widespread lymph node involvement at diagnosis. The chemoattractants that control the locomotion of follicular center lymphoma B cells have not been established. Stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) is a CXC-class chemokine that enhances the migration of normal human B cells and is expressed in peripheral lymphoid tissues. Here we have investigated 1) whether SDF-1 stimulates the in vitro locomotion of follicular center lymphoma B cells and of their presumed normal counterparts (i. e., germinal center B cells) and 2) whether the same cells express SDF-1 transcripts.


B cells were purified by immunomagnetic bead manipulation. Messenger RNA was detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Migration was assessed by the filter and collagen invasion assays. All P values were two sided.


Follicular center lymphoma B lymphocytes showed a statistically significant migratory response to 300 ng/mL SDF-1, both in the filter and in the collagen assays (P =.002 for each). Such response was mediated by the SDF-1 receptor, CXCR4. CD40 monoclonal antibody (MAb) and tonsillar germinal center B cells treated with CD40 MAb and recombinant interleukin 4, but not freshly isolated, migrated statistically significantly faster in the presence than in the absence of SDF-1 (P =.002 in both filter and collagen assays). Freshly isolated follicular center lymphoma and germinal center B cells expressed SDF-1 transcripts.


This study shows that SDF-1 substantially enhances the migration of follicular center lymphoma B cells but not the migration of freshly purified germinal center B cells. This difference may be related to the extended survival of follicular center lymphoma versus germinal center B cells. SDF-1 produced in follicular center lymphoma lymph nodes may play a role in the local dissemination of tumor cells.

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