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Hum Pathol. 2005 Jan;36(1):51-7.

The CD45 isoform B220 identifies select subsets of human B cells and B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders.

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Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The B220 isoform of CD45, a pan B-cell marker in mice, is expressed by only a subset of human B cells that do not express the memory B-cell marker CD27, suggesting that it is a differentiation-specific isoform of CD45. We examined normal human peripheral blood B cells, secondary lymphoid tissue, and a range of human B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders for the expression of B220 by flow cytometric immunophenotyping and immunohistochemical staining. We found that a subset of human B cells in peripheral blood is positive for B220 by flow cytometric immunophenotypic analysis. In reactive lymphoid tissues, B220 is expressed by B cells occupying the mantle zones and by a subpopulation of germinal center cells, but, in contrast, marginal zone B cells in the spleen do not express B220. Of 94 cases of B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders, 33 (35%) were positive for B220 by flow cytometric immunophenotypic analysis, including most cases of marginal zone lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma. In contrast, all cases of precursor B lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma were negative for B220. Immunohistochemical staining for B220 correlated with flow cytometric analysis for all cases studied by both methods. Our data demonstrate that B220 is expressed in a select subset of normal, reactive B cells in a pattern that is consistent with a marker of naive B cells. However, this restricted expression pattern is not seen in B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders. Discordance between the B220 expression patterns of normal mantle and marginal zone B cells and their respective neoplastic counterparts may aid in the distinction between normal and neoplastic proliferations at these anatomical sites.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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