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Rinsho Byori. 2005 Jan;53(1):54-60.

[Nuclear abnormalities in Pelger-Huet anomaly; progress in blood cell morphology].

[Article in Japanese]

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Department of Hematology, Molecular Medicine Unit, Atomic Bomb Disease Institute, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, Nagasaki 852-8523.


Gene abnormalities responsible for familial Pelger-Huet anomaly have been recently discovered. Abnormalities in sequence of Lamin B Receptor(LBR) gene results in a lack of LBR protein that is essential for chromatin-binding to nuclear membrane. In neutrophils lacking LBR protein shows abnormal bilobular or monolobular nuclear forms and hyper-condensed chromatin-aggregation. We re-analyzed distribution of such Pelger-Huet anomaly in other cell lineages; we found that not only neutrophils but erythroblasts, monocytes, lymphocytes, plasma cells, eosinophils and basophils are also carrying chromatin-hypercondensation. One third of megakaryocytes are also binucleated like neutrophils. We compared neutrophil morphology between familial Pelger-Huet anomaly and so called pseudo-Pelger-Huet anomaly observed in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes(MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia(AML). The neutrophils in MDS were much similar to those of the familial anomaly, but neutrophils of AML, such as t (8;21) M2-AML and t (15;17) M3-AML, showed more heterogeneous pattern in lobulation and chromatin-hypercondensation. Especially in M3, differentiation-induction by all-trans retinoic acid induced a marked neutrophilia with pseudo-Pelger-Huet anomaly without chromatin-hypercondensation. Lack of LBR protein in familial Pelger-Huet anomaly results in hypolobulation and chromatin-hypercondensation in neutrophils, but in other cells such as erythroblasts and lymphocytes only chromatin-hypercondensation can be observed. In contrast pseudo-Pelger-Huet anomaly are more heterogeneous in morphology compared to the familial anomaly. The lack of leukemic or MDS transformation in the familial anomaly is a sharp contrast to the neoplastic nature of the pseudo-Pelger-Huet anomaly. In conclusion, our morphological recognition of certain abnormality of cells shows an marked progression when genetic abnormality responsible for some of them are discovered, and often make us recognize a further heterogeneity in them. We, hematologists and technicians, must be well prepared to report our own observation of an un-explained morphological abnormality.

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