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J Pathol. 1996 Mar;178(3):303-10.

VJ rearrangements of the TCR gamma locus in peripheral T-cell lymphomas: analysis by polymerase chain reaction and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis.

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Service d'Immunologie Biologique and INSERM U91, Hôpital Henri Mondor, Créteil, France.


Using Southern blotting for the diagnosis of clonality in peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCLs), analysis of the T-cell receptor (TCR) gamma gene rearrangement was shown to be more informative than that of the TCR beta gene rearrangement. In order to amplify every VJ gamma rearrangement, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) procedure using newly designed GC-clamp primers has been developed. All primers can be mixed in a single multiplex PCR. PCR products are analysed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), providing tumour-specific imprints inasmuch as the procedure characterizes N sequence polymorphism at the VJ junctions. In a series of 30 PTCL cases, the PCR procedure demonstrated 27 cases to be clonally rearranged and failed in three cases. PCR was more accurate than Southern blotting, showing 47 rearranged gamma alleles, four of which were undetectable on the Southern blot. When lymphomas were studied at different sites and at relapse, the DGGE pattern remained unchanged. In PTCL, the proposed PCR is helpful for the diagnosis and staging of the disease and should improve the follow-up monitoring. The undetectability of clonal rearrangements in a few cases is discussed in the light of concepts of lymphomagenesis and T-cell differentiation.

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