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Leuk Res. 2009 Sep;33(9):1212-6. doi: 10.1016/j.leukres.2009.01.017. Epub 2009 Feb 20.

CD200 expression may help in differential diagnosis between mantle cell lymphoma and B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, Hematology Section, University of Catania, Italy.


Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) share many features and their differential diagnosis may be challenging, especially when a leukemic picture alone is present. Monoclonal antibody panels are often useful, with CD23 being the most reliable. However, MCL diagnosis should be confirmed by immunohistochemical cyclin D1 detection, sometimes with equivocal or even negative results. Other cytofluorimetric, cytogenetics or molecular techniques are reliable but not widely available. B-CLL leukemic cells express CD200, a membrane glycoprotein belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily. We investigated its expression on fresh neoplastic cells of 93 patients with a CD5+ lymphoproliferative disease (79 selected B-CLL and 14 MCL in leukemic phase). Although these data cannot be generalized, all B-CLL samples we examined were positive, with CD200 present on the vast majority of the cells while, in MCL patients, CD200 was expressed by a small minority of CD5+ cells in three subjects and totally absent in the remaining 11. We then examined CD200 expression on paraffin-embedded lymphoid tissues and bone marrow (BM) trephine biopsies from 23 B-CLL and 44 MCL patients. Again, all B-CLL cells were CD200+ both in lymph nodes and in BM while all MCL cells were negative. Adding CD200 in routine panels could be of diagnostic utility in excluding MCL diagnosis.

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