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Am J Surg Pathol. 2007 Jul;31(7):1068-76.

Characterization of CXCL13+ neoplastic t cells in cutaneous lesions of angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL).

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AP-HP, Groupe hospitalier Henri Mondor, Albert Chenevier, Department of Pathology Inserm U617 Argenteuil, France.


Skin manifestations of angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) are frequent, sometimes as first manifestations of the disease. In the absence of a specific marker for neoplastic cells, diagnosis of AITL in skin biopsies is often difficult. CD10 and CXCL13 have been recently recognized as characteristic markers of AITL, but have not been yet investigated in the skin. We analyzed 15 skin biopsies from 8 patients with AITL having skin manifestations and compared them to 14 skin biopsies from patients with various cutaneous lymphocytic infiltrates. A few CD10 lymphocytes were found in only 2 samples of the AITL group, the identification of which was hampered by the presence of a dermal CD10 cell population with dendritic features. By contrast, CXCL13 lymphoid cells were identified in most AITL cutaneous biopsies (n=12, 80%), whereas, absent in all samples from control cases. Among 12 biopsies with CXCL13 cells, cutaneous involvement by AITL was suspected in only 5 on the basis of light microscopy and classic immunophenotyping. In another case, a diagnosis of cutaneous marginal zone B-cell lymphoma had been proposed. In conclusion, this study shows that neoplastic AITL CXCL13 T cells localize in the skin and that accurate diagnosis of AITL lesions can be done in skin specimens using CXCL13 immunostaining on paraffin-embedded tissues.

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