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Hum Pathol. 1994 Dec;25(12):1360-5.

CD26/dipeptidyl peptidase IV expression in human lymphomas is restricted to CD30-positive anaplastic large cell and a subset of T-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.

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Division of Pathology, Istituto Nazionale di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Aviano, Italy.


CD26 is identical to the cell surface ectoenzyme dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPPIV). CD26/DPPIV is associated with T-cell activation and proliferation and also may function as an auxiliary adhesion factor. Although CD26/DPPIV has been previously studied on lymphoid populations and on leukemias/lymphomas of B- and T-cell phenotype, little is known about its expression and functional role in some specific types of lymphomas, such as CD30-positive anaplastic large cell (ALC) lymphomas and Hodgkin's disease (HD). A series of 81 lymphoma samples, including 23 cases of HD, 17 cases of CD30-positive ALC lymphomas, 41 cases of other non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL), and a panel of HD- or ALC lymphoma-derived human cell lines were evaluated for CD26/DPPIV expression by enzyme histochemistry and immunohistochemistry on frozen sections and cell smears. CD26/DPPIV protein was expressed on neoplastic cells in 12 of 17 (71%) ALC lymphomas irrespective of their antigenic phenotype and in seven of 15 (47%) T-cell NHLs. In contrast, we did not detect CD26/DPPIV expression in tumor cells from 26 cases of B-cell NHL other than ALC lymphomas or in Reed Sternberg (RS) cells and variants of 21 of 23 HD cases. Accordingly, CD26/DPPIV expression was maintained on the CD30-positive ALC lymphoma cell line Karpas 299, but the molecule was not detected on HD-derived cell lines of B, T, or non-B non-T phenotype. These results may support a new potential tool for the phenotypic separation of ALC lymphomas from HD based on the differential expression of the CD26/DPPIV molecule. Moreover, given the demonstration that CD26/DPPIV is identical to the human adenosine deaminase (ADA) binding protein, it could be speculated that CD26/DPPIV also may function by interacting with ADA to regulate the growth of CD26/DPPIV expressing neoplastic cells in ALC lymphomas.

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