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Lab Invest. 2000 Oct;80(10):1593-9.

Follicular lymphoma with monocytoid B-cell proliferation: molecular assessment of the clonal relationship between the follicular and monocytoid B-cell components.

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Department of Pathology, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City, USA.


Although a number of studies have recognized that follicular lymphomas may be accompanied by a prominent proliferation of monocytoid B-cells, the clonal relationship between these components has not been adequately assessed. Using laser capture microdissection, we isolated the follicular and monocytoid B-cell components from four well-characterized cases of follicular lymphoma with prominent monocytoid B-cells. DNA from each component was analyzed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods to assess for clonal rearrangements of the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene (IgH) and for the presence of the bcl-2 gene major breakpoint region/joining region (MBR/JH) DNA fusion products by conventional PCR and fluorescence melting curve analysis. Evidence of clonal identity was established in the follicular and monocytoid B-cell components of three cases by demonstration of IgH gene rearrangements of identical size using IgH PCR, by comparison of complementarity determining region III (CDRIII) DNA sequences, or by detection of bcl-2 MBR/JH fusion products of identical size and/or melting temperature. Molecular analysis of the fourth case revealed a monoclonal and MBR/JH-positive follicular component accompanied by a polyclonal and MBR/JH-negative monocytoid B-cell proliferation. We conclude that the follicular and monocytoid B-cell components of this variant of follicular lymphoma are clonally identical in the majority of cases. However, in a minority of these cases, the monocytoid B-cell component is reactive. Larger studies that assess the prognostic significance of follicular lymphoma with monocytoid B-cells will benefit from molecular studies that assess the clonal relationship of both components.

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