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Biomed Pharmacother. 1994;48(10):433-44.

Autocrine and paracrine functions of cytokines in malignant lymphomas.

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Department of Pathology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Cancer Research Center, Little Rock 72205-5411.


Cytokines play important roles in the pathogenesis of lymphomas via an autocrine or a paracrine mechanism, or both. The characteristic clinical and histopathological features of malignant lymphomas may be due in part to elevated serum or tissue levels of cytokines. Determination of the effects of cytokines on the growth or differentiation of lymphoma cells is often complicated by the fact that more than one cytokine is responsible, and by the failure of anti-cytokine antibodies or antisense oligonucleotides to block the proliferation in vitro of lymphoma cells. However, it appears that IL-6 and/or IL-9 may play a prominent role in the tumor cell proliferation of Hodgkin's disease (HD), anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, or immunoblastic lymphoma. IL-6 may also be responsible for the plasmacytoid differentiation of lymphoma cells in polymorphic immunocytoma. The histopathological changes as a result of paracrine effects are most noticeable in HD. The malignant (H-RS) cells of HD have been shown to express IL-1, IL-5, IL-6, IL-9, TNF-alpha, M-CSF, TGF-beta, and CD80, and, less frequently, IL-4 and G-CSF. These cytokines may be responsible for the increased cellular reaction and fibrosis observed in tissues involved by HD and for the immunosuppression found in patients with HD. In contrast to H-RS cells, most non-HD lymphoma cells do not produce cytokines in excess amounts and reveal only a minimal cellular reaction. Exceptions include T-cell-rich B-cell lymphoma, angiocentric T-cell lymphoma, and angio-immunoblastic lymphadenopathy (AILD-like T-cell lymphoma. IL-4 is responsible for the T-cell reaction in T-cell-rich B-cell lymphoma, whereas IL-6 accounts for the plasma cell reaction in AILD-type T-cell lymphoma. The authors extensively review the role of cytokines in lymphomas because this may lead to major advances in the understanding of the molecular processes involved in the histopathogenesis of lymphomas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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