alexa Hairy cell leukemia: at the crossroad of somatic mutation and isotype switch.


Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion

Author(s): Forconi F, Sahota SS, Raspadori D, Ippoliti M, Babbage G, , Forconi F, Sahota SS, Raspadori D, Ippoliti M, Babbage G,

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Abstract Hairy cell leukemia (HCL) commonly expresses multiple immunoglobulin isotypes, a feature rare in other B-cell malignancies or in normal B cells. In HCL, there is no phenotypic evidence for subpopulations, and single cells from one previous case contained transcripts for several isotypes. This raises the questions of the differentiation status of the cell of origin and of posttransformation events. We have investigated 9 cases, all expressing multiple immunoglobulin isotypes. Multiple tumor-derived variable-(diversity)-joining-constant mu delta, gamma, alpha (V(D)J-Cmu, delta, gamma, alpha) transcripts were confirmed in single cells of a further case. All cases were negative for germinal center (GC)-associated markers CD27 and CD38. Seven of 9 cases had mutated V(H) genes, with low levels of intraclonal heterogeneity, but 2 of 9 were unmutated, indicative of pre-GC origin. Eight of 9 cases expressed activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), a molecule essential for somatic mutation and isotype switch. All cases expressed germ line heavy-chain I exon (I(H))-C(H) transcripts which paralleled surface immunoglobulin (sIg) isotype. Significantly, no circle transcripts indicative of deletional recombination of switched isotypes were detectable in 9 of 9 cases. These data indicate heterogeneity in the cell of origin in terms of mutational status, but reveal common features of AID expression and isotype-switching events occurring prior to deletional recombination. Both mutational and switching events may be influenced by environmental factors at extrafollicular sites. This article was published in Blood and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion

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