Flow cytometric evaluation of TRBC1 expression in tissue specimens and body fluids is a novel and specific method for assessment of T-cell clonality and diagnosis of T-cell neoplasms

Holly Berg, Gregory E. Otteson, Heidi Corley, Min Shi, Pedro Horna, Dragan Jevremovic, Horatiu Olteanu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Flow cytometric detection of T-cell clonality is challenging. The current available methodology for T-cell receptor (TCR) Vβ repertoire evaluation is a complex assay and has limited sensitivity especially for detecting low levels of disease. Therefore, there is an unmet need for a reliable, simple, and rapid assay to identify T-cell clonality. The rearrangement of the TCRB gene involves the random and mutually exclusive expression of one of two constant β chain genes (TRBC1 and TRBC2), analogous to the kappa and lambda gene utilization by B cells. Methods: Here, we used a single TRBC1 antibody, in conjunction with other T-cell associated markers, to detect T-cell clonality in tissue biopsies and body fluids. A total of 143 tissue/body fluid specimens from 46 patients with a definitive diagnosis of a T-cell neoplasm and 97 patients with no T-cell malignancy were analyzed with a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies including CD2/CD3/CD4/CD5/CD7/CD8/CD45/TCRγδ/TRBC1. Results: We examined TRBC1 expression on neoplastic T-cell populations identified based on their immunophenotypic aberrancies, and monotypic TRBC1 expression was identified in all 46 known T-cell lymphoma cases. We applied a similar gating strategy to the 97 cases without T-cell neoplasms, and arbitrarily dissected T-cell populations into immunophenotypically distinct subsets; in this group, we found that all cases revealed an expected polytypic TRBC1 expression in all subsets. Conclusions: Single TRBC1 antibody detection of T-cell clonality by flow cytometry is a simple, rapid, and robust assay that could be routinely utilized in flow cytometric laboratories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCytometry Part B - Clinical Cytometry
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • flow cytometry
  • T-cell clonality
  • T-cell neoplasms
  • TRBC1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology

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