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Am J Clin Pathol. 1990 Jun;93(6):822-7.

Additional evidence that "plasmacytoid T-cell lymphoma" associated with chronic myeloproliferative disorders is of macrophage/monocyte origin.

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Department of Pathology, Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Los Angeles, California 90027.


Plasmacytoid T-cell lymphoma (PTL) is a rare lymphoma with unique morphologic, immunologic, and clinical features. Thus far, only three cases have been reported, each terminating in myeloid leukemia. The macrophage/monocyte rather than T-cell origin of "plasmacytoid T-cells" in reactive lymph nodes has been suggested in the past, but there has been no extensive investigation to demonstrate whether the PTLs are also of this lineage. The authors now report on a patient with PTL who had a long history of clinically stable idiopathic myelofibrosis. Immunocytochemical staining of the neoplastic plasmacytoid cells, with a large panel of monoclonal antibodies used on fresh-frozen and paraffin-embedded tissue sections, showed that the neoplastic cells expressed several macrophage/monocyte-associated markers, i.e., CD31, CD36 (thrombospondin receptor), and CD68 (KP1). Other markers of the macrophage/monocyte lineage (e.g., CD11b, CD11c, CD16) were absent. The neoplastic cells lacked B-cell-associated antigens and lacked most T-cell-associated markers, with the exception of CD2 and CD4. These findings are in close agreement with those of previous studies on normal plasmacytoid T-cells and support the macrophage/monocytic origin of PTL. Molecular hybridization studies provided additional support for the nonlymphoid origin of the plasmacytoid cells by demonstrating the absence of T-cell-receptor beta-chain and immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene rearrangements in the neoplastic cells. The results of the authors' studies indicate that "plasmacytoid T-cell lymphoma" associated with a chronic myeloproliferative disorder is of macrophage/monocyte lineage.

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