Differential expression of thymus and activation regulated chemokine and its receptor CCR4 in nodal and cutaneous anaplastic large-cell lymphomas and Hodgkin's disease

M. H. Vermeer, D. F. Dukers, R. L. Ten Berge, E. Bloemena, L. Wu, W. Vos, E. De Vries, C. P. Tensen, C. J.L.M. Meijer, R. Willemze

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Recent studies demonstrated that Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg (H/RS) cells in Hodgkin's disease (HD) express thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC), whereas reactive lymphocytes surrounding H/RS cells express its ligand, CC-chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4). Because in vitro studies showed that CCR4 expression is a marker for lymphocytes bearing a T-helper 2 (Th2) phenotype, it was suggested that expression of TARC is a new immune escape mechanism in HD. To find out whether this mechanism might also be operative in CD30+ malignant lymphomas other than HD, TARC and CCR4 expression was investigated by immunohistochemistry on paraffin and frozen-tissue sections of 39 nodal CD30+ anaplastic: large cell lymphomas (ALCL), including 27 ALK-negative and 12 ALK-positive ALCL, 25 primary cutaneous CD30+ ALCL, including 11 patients with lymphomatoid papulosis, and 31 cases of HD. TARC was expressed by the neoplastic cells in 12/27 (44%) nodal ALK-negative ALCL and all. cases of classic HD, but not in nodal ALK-positive ALCL (0/12) and only rarely in primary cutaneous CD30+ ALCL (3/25). In contrast, CCR4 was expressed by the neoplastic cells in 9/9 cutaneous CD30+ ALCL, and in 9/15 (60%) nodal ALK-negative ALCL, but only in 1/4 (25%) nodal ALK-positive ALCL and not by the H/RS cells in HD (0/8). Apart from three cases of HD showing 10 to 15% CCR4-positive lymphocytes surrounding TARC-positive H/RS cells, CCR4-positive reactive T cells were few (<5%) in all other cases studied. Our results demonstrate a differential expression of TARC and CCR4 in different types of CD30+ malignant lymphomas. The small number of CCR4-positive reactive T cells in most cases studied argues against an important role of TARC expression in the evasion of antitumor responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)838-844
Number of pages7
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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