Lymphocyte-rich classical Hodgkin's lymphoma: distinctive tumor and microenvironment markers

Syong H Nam-Cha, Santiago Montes-Moreno, Maria T Salcedo, Josefina Sanjuan, Juan F Garcia, Miguel A Piris
Modern Pathology 2009, 22 (8): 1006-15
The existence, diagnostic features, and the biological and clinical relevance of lymphocyte-rich classical Hodgkin's lymphoma remain controversial. A comparative marker analysis of lymphocyte-rich classical Hodgkin's lymphoma, nodular lymphocyte-predominance Hodgkin's lymphoma, and of other subtypes of classical Hodgkin's lymphoma was carried out. Markers were selected focusing on B-cell lineage and transcription program (OCT.1, OCT.2, BOB.1, BCL6, PAX-5, GCET1, KLHL6, and BLIMP1), the NF-kappaB signaling pathway (REL-B, C-REL, TRAF-1, p-50, and MUM-1) and the T-cell microenvironment (CD3, CD57, PD-1, CXCL-13, and CD10, BCL-6, CD23). Lymphocyte-rich classical Hodgkin's lymphoma cases displayed features intermediate between those of classical Hodgkin's lymphoma and nodular lymphocyte-predominance Hodgkin's lymphoma. The expression of B-cell transcription factors such as OCT.1, OCT.2, BOB.1, and BCL6 was more frequent in lymphocyte-rich classical Hodgkin's lymphoma than in classical Hodgkin's lymphoma. A follicular T-cell microenvironment was also identified in 50% of lymphocyte-rich classical Hodgkin's lymphoma cases. NF-kB markers were expressed at frequencies comparable with those observed in classical Hodgkin's lymphoma. The neoplastic cell immunophenotype and microenvironment in lymphocyte-rich classical Hodgkin's lymphoma closely mimic that which are observed in the outer zone of the germinal center, where B-cell blasts with germinal-center markers co-express CD30 and the B-cell transcription program, surrounded by follicular T-cell rosettes. Lymphocyte-rich classical Hodgkin's lymphoma seems to be characterized by a stronger expression of the B-cell transcription program by the neoplastic cells and by a follicular T-cell background, occupying an intermediate position between classical Hodgkin's lymphoma and nodular lymphocyte-predominance Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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