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Phenotype, genotype and clonality of Reed-Sternberg cells in nodular sclerosis Hodgkin's disease: Results of a single-cell study



Phenotype, genotype and clonality of Reed-Sternberg cells in nodular sclerosis Hodgkin's disease: Results of a single-cell study



British Journal of Haematology 94(1): 198-205



The genotype and clonality of Reed-Sternberg (RS) cells in Hodgkin's disease (HD) has remained a controversial issue, largely due to the scarcity of RS cells in tissues and the limitations of the techniques used to resolve this issue. Southern hybridization and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays using DNA extracted from tissues can only document clonal gene rearrangements, but do not indicate which cellular population is responsible for such rearrangements. To overcome the limitations of these previous techniques for studying the genotype and clonality of RS cells, we analysed single RS cells with a single-cell PCR assay to detect immunoglobulin heavy chain gene (IgH) rearrangements and X-chromosome inactivation. Six cases of nodular sclerosis (NS) HD were studied. The RS cells displayed a B-cell phenotype in three cases and a null-cell phenotype in the other three cases. IgH rearrangements were detected in the RS cells of the three cases with a B-cell phenotype, but not in the other cases. In these three cases the IgH rearrangements in the RS cells were polyclonal, although a subpopulation of clonal RS cells was documented in one case. The finding that the RS cells with IgH rearrangements were not monoclonal was supported in one case by studying the pattern of X-chromosome inactivation in single RS cells by a single-cell human androgen receptor gene (HUMARA) PCR assay. Our results indicate that NSHD begins as a polyclonal process in which a clonal RS cell population may arise; and that the RS cells in a subset of NSHD show evidence of B-lineage differentiation.

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Accession: 009184985

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 8757535

DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2141.1996.d01-1780.x


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