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Mod Pathol. 2001 Feb;14(2):62-71.

In situ hybridization and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction for cyclin D1 mRNA in the diagnosis of mantle cell lymphoma in paraffin-embedded tissues.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Medical School of the Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece.


Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is characterized by the chromosomal translocation t(11;14), which involves rearrangement of the bcl-1 proto-oncogene to the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene and results in overexpression of cyclin D1 mRNA. In this study, we evaluated the diagnostic relevance of three methods that may be helpful in the diagnosis of MCL: in situ hybridization (ISH) and a stringent reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) protocol for cyclin D1 mRNA, and immunohistochemistry for cyclin D1 protein. The study group included 37 paraffin-embedded specimens (25 from lymph nodes and 12 from extranodal tissues) from 30 patients. MCL diagnosis was performed according to the Revised European-American Classification of Lymphoid Neoplasms. Twenty-nine patients with non-MCL lymphoproliferative disorders comprised the control group. Biotin-labeled ISH was performed in 28 cases of MCL, 24 (86%) of which were found to be positive. As shown by ISH in extranodal tissues, cyclin D1 mRNA was present not only in neoplastic lymphoid cells, but in other cell types as well. For this reason, RT-PCR results were considered reliable for MCL diagnosis only on informative material (from tissues that do not normally express cyclin D1); this method was evaluated as positive in 16 of 18 (89%) MCL cases. Cyclin D1 immunopositivity was present in 20 of 29 (69%) MCL cases. No members of the control group were found to express cyclin D1 mRNA by either ISH or RT-PCR under the stringent conditions used. In conclusion, stringent RT-PCR for cyclin D1 expression can be helpful in MCL diagnosis in paraffin-embedded material from lymph nodes. ISH is a sensitive method for cyclin D1 mRNA detection; its sensitivity is superior to that of cyclin D1 immunohistochemistry and similar to that of the stringent RT-PCR used. ISH is very specific as well, clearly more specific than RT-PCR, because it allows the correlation of molecular findings with morphology. This method can be applied on all types of paraffin-embedded tissues and provides an accurate tool for MCL diagnosis.

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