|Lymph node samples from 11 healthy dogs were labeled to validate the specificity of antibodies and to formulate guidelines for interpretation of the results obtained from lymphoma samples.
In normal lymph nodes, T-lymphocytes expressing CD3, CD4, or CD8 beta represented 59+/-11%, 43+/-8%, or 16+/-5% of the total cells, whereas B-lymphocytes expressing either CD21 or surface IgM (IgM) represented 37+/-9% or 14+/-5%, respectively.
Small lymphocytes could be distinguished from large lymphocytes by forward light scatter.
Of the patient samples 29 different breeds were represented with Golden and Labrador retriever being the most common.
The lymphoma samples segregated into three groups based on CD antigen expression.
Thirty cases predominantly expressed one or more combinations of CD79a, IgM, and CD21 representing a B-cell lineage. Three B-cell cases also expressed the stem cell antigen, CD34.
Sixteen cases expressed one or more combinations of CD3, CD4, and CD8 consistent with a T-cell lineage and CD3+CD4+CD8--phenotype was the most common.
Thirteen cases showed a mixed expression profile for T- and B-cell antigens and in three cases CD14 was highly expressed.
Clinical response was poorest for T-cell lymphomas.
Leukemic states occurred in all three phenotypes; but mixed cell cases had the greatest proportion. Dual immunofluorescence staining confirmed co-expression of T-cell (CD3) and B-cell antigens (CD79a or CD21) on neoplastic lymphocytes of six mixed cell cases.
In one mixed cell case, dual immunostaining identified lymphocyte populations that stained mutually exclusive for CD79a and CD3.
Six mixed cell lymphomas tested by PCR showed clonality for rearranged antigen receptor.
Four cases that were CD79a+CD3+ had TCRgamma chain gene rearrangements, whereas two cases that were CD3+CD8+CD21+ had Ig heavy chain rearrangement.
One case expressing multiple CD molecules (CD3+CD8+CD21+CD14+) was PCR negative for both Ig and TCRgamma gene rearrangement and could not be classified into a B- or T-cell lineage.
We show for the first time co-expression of B- and T-cell markers on lymphoma cells that had specific T- or B-cell gene rearrangements.
These findings suggest that aberrant CD molecule expression is not an uncommon finding in canine lymphomas and is a useful diagnostic marker for malignancy.
Source: Wilkerson MJ, Dolce K, Koopman T, Shuman W, Chun R, Garrett L, Barber L, Avery A. (2005): Lineage differentiation of canine lymphoma/leukemias and aberrant expression of CD molecules. In: Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2005 Jul 15;106(3-4):179-96.
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