All infiltrating T-lymphocytes in Hodgkin's disease express immunohistochemically detectable T-cell receptor zeta-chains in situ

D F Dukers, J J Oudejans, E H Jaspars, M Gras, W Vos, J M Middeldorp, C J Meijer, E Bloemena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


AIM: We studied the expression of TCR zeta-chain on tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes in EBV-positive and EBV-negative cases of Hodgkin's disease (HD), to assess whether downregulation of TCR zeta-chain on tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes might be a mechanism for immune escape of the neoplastic cells.

METHODS AND RESULTS: By immunohistochemistry we investigated tissue of 27 cases of primary HD, both paraffin embedded and frozen, for the presence of T-cell receptor complex zeta-chain and other T-cell markers on the reactive cells. Strong membranous staining of TCR zeta-chain was present in all cases in frozen tissue. In contrast, in paraffin-embedded material substantial loss of TCR zeta-chain was detected in old (> 6 years) tissues. However, no differences in either the number of positive cells or their staining intensity were observed in EBV-positive and negative cases of HD as detected in frozen tissue. Storage of paraffin-embedded tissue leads to a rapid and substantial loss of TCR zeta-chain reactivity compared to frozen material of the same HD cases. Staining reactivity of other T-cell markers (CD3, CD4 and CD8) on paraffin-embedded material remained unaffected. Immunofluorescent double-staining confirmed colocalization and coexpression of TCR zeta-chain and CD3.

CONCLUSIONS: In frozen biopsies of primary HD TCR zeta-chain was expressed on all reactive CD3-positive cells, both in EBV-positive and EBV-negative cases. This suggests that zeta-chain downregulation is not a likely mechanism whereby neoplastic cells of HD can escape immune surveillance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-50
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2000

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