Flow Cytometry Analysis Reveals a Wide Cytologic and Immunophenotypic Spectrum of Peripheral B Lymphocytes in Angioimmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma

Hung Lin Liu, Chun Kai Liao, Shao Wen Weng, Lee Yung Shih, Chih Chi Chou, Huey Ling You, Ming Chung Wang, Wan Ting Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) is an aggressive T-cell lymphoma commonly associated with B-cell dysregulation. Correlations involving B-cell dysregulation and clinicopathological features remain unclear.

METHODS: We prospectively collected blood samples from 11 AITL patients and 17 healthy controls. The percentages of B-cell subpopulations and lymphocytes with IL-21 production were assessed using flow cytometry. Peripheral blood lymphocyte morphology was evaluated microscopically.

RESULTS: Six of 11 (54.5%) patients presented with polyclonal hypergammaglobulinemia. Three of 11 (27.3%) tumor biopsies showed monoclonal immunoglobulin gene rearrangement. The patients exhibited significantly lower levels of naive (p < 0.001) and class-switched (p < 0.001) B cells than controls. The percentages of IgD-CD27- B cells (p = 0.007) and antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) (p = 0.001) were increased. Blood smears revealed atypical lymphocytes and immature plasma cells with morphological diversity. In comparison to normal controls, IL-21 production significantly increased in CD4+ (p < 0.001) and CD8+ (p = 0.020) T cells. B-cell clonality, RHOA G17V mutation, and the presence of sheets of clear cells and immature/mature plasma cells in lymph nodes were significantly associated with percentages of class-switched B cells and ASCs. The patients with circulating EBV DNA had a lower percentage of naive B cells (p = 0.009).

CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrated a wide spectrum of peripheral B-cell morphologies and immunophenotypes of peripheral B cells in AITL. These findings correspond to dysregulated B-cell immunity and heterogeneous clinicopathological features.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-198
Number of pages12
JournalPathobiology
Volume90
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 01 06 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2022 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Keywords

  • AITL
  • B-cell subpopulations
  • Flow cytometry
  • IL-21
  • B-Lymphocytes/pathology
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Peripheral/pathology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell/diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Immunoblastic Lymphadenopathy/diagnosis

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