Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) is a systemic disease involving lymph nodes, spleen, and bone marrow. Although the histologic features have been well described, the diagnosis is often challenging, as there are no specific phenotypic or molecular markers available. This study shows that the neoplastic cells of AITL can be identified by aberrant CD10 expression. Archival material from 30 cases of AITL, 10 cases of peripheral T-cell lymphoma unspecified (PTL), and 10 cases of reactive lymphoid hyperplasia were reviewed. Single and double immunostaining for CD3, CD4, CD8, CD20, CD21, CD10, BCL6, Ki67, and LMP-1 in situ hybridization for Epstein-Barr early region and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for T-cell receptor gamma chain gene and immunoglobulin heavy chain gene were performed. Three over- lapping histologic patterns with hyper-plastic follicles, depleted follicles, or without follicles were identified in AITL. Of the 30 cases of AITL, 27 contained CD10+ T cells. No CD10+ T cells were present in the cases of PTL or reactive hyperplasia. PCR confirmed a monoclonal or oligoclonal T-cell population in 29 of 30 cases of AITL and a monoclonal B-cell population in 6 cases. Analysis of microdissected CD10+ single cells showed that they belonged to the neoplastic clone. In conclusion CD10 is a phenotypic marker that specifically identifies the tumor cells in 90% of AITL, including the early cases. The presence of these cells distinguishes AITL from other PTLs. This finding provides an objective criterion for accurate and early diagnosis of AITL.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology