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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Evidence of abortive plasma cell differentiation in Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells of classical Hodgkin lymphoma.

Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells of classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) show genotypic features of germinal centre-derived B-cells in most cases. Nevertheless, these cells typically lack expression of B-cell antigens. Previous studies have suggested that plasma cell differentiation may occur in HRS cells and that this may account for the down-regulation of B-cell antigens. However, these results are controversial. We have addressed this question using immunohistochemistry and a panel of antibodies directed against antigens which are differentially expressed during terminal B-cell differentiation. Pax-5, a transcription factor required for B-lineage commitment, and IRF4/Mum1, which is physiologically expressed in germinal centre cells and plasma cells, were consistently detectable in HRS cells. Bcl-6, a transcription factor expressed in germinal centre B-cells, was present in HRS cells of approximately 25% of cHL cases. Expression of the B-lymphocyte-induced maturation protein-1 (Blimp-1), a key regulator of plasma cell differentiation, was observed in HRS cells of 23% of cHL cases. In these cases, Blimp-1 expression was restricted to a small proportion of HRS cells. HRS cells were consistently negative for the plasma cell marker CD138. These results suggest that plasma cell differentiation may be initiated in a small subset of HRS cells but remains abortive. Thus, terminal differentiation is unlikely to explain the lack of B-cell antigen expression in HRS cells.[1]


  1. Evidence of abortive plasma cell differentiation in Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells of classical Hodgkin lymphoma. Buettner, M., Greiner, A., Avramidou, A., Jäck, H.M., Niedobitek, G. Hematological oncology. (2005) [Pubmed]
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