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Br J Haematol. 2004 Feb;124(4):519-33.

Intracellular signalling molecules as immunohistochemical markers of normal and neoplastic human leucocytes in routine biopsy samples.

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Nuffield Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK.


We have investigated whether intracellular signal transduction molecules can be used as immunohistological markers of normal and neoplastic human leucocytes in routine tissue sections. We obtained selective labelling of white cells for eight such molecules (the 'linker' molecules SLP-76 and BLNK, the Src family kinases Lyn, Fyn, Syk and Hck, and the phospholipases PLC-gamma1 and PLC-gamma2). Antibodies to SLP-76 and PLC-gamma1 selectively labelled T cells, and antibodies to BLNK, Lyn, Fyn, Syk and PLC-gamma2 labelled B cells (although Fyn immunostaining was restricted to mantle zone B cells). Antibodies to the Syk and Hck kinases labelled probable thymocyte precursors at the periphery of the thymic cortex. In addition to lymphoid cells, several other leucocyte types were immunostained (e.g. SLP-76, Lyn, Syk and Hck were found in megakaryocytes, myeloid cells and/or macrophages, and PLC-gamma2 was detected in arterial endothelium). SLP-76 and PLC-gamma1 were found in most T-cell lymphomas studied, and some B-cell lymphomas were also positive for PLC-gamma1 (e.g. diffuse large cell and Burkitt's lymphoma). The five B cell-associated markers were found in most B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, although some diffuse large B-cell lymphomas were negative (e.g. for Lyn) and anti-Fyn tended not to stain small B-cell neoplasms. The observation that a range of leucocyte signalling molecules can be detected in routine biopsies offers new possibilities for studying normal and neoplastic human white cells in diagnostic tissue samples.

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