The BCL-6 gene is frequently involved in translocations occurring at the 3q27 locus and is rearranged in approximately 30% of diffuse large cell lymphomas and in a small fraction of follicular lymphomas. The BCL-6 gene encodes for a Kruppel-type zinc-finger protein, the cell/tissue expression and function of which is unknown. In this study, we describe a new monoclonal antibody (PG-B6) that is specifically directed against a fixative-sensitive epitope on the amino-terminal region of the BCL-6 protein. By immunocytochemical analysis, BCL-6 localizes in the nucleus where PG-B6 staining gives a microgranular/diffuse pattern with exclusion of the nucleoli. The main reactivity of PG-B6 in tonsil and spleen is with the nuclei of germinal center B cells, whereas B cells within the mantle and marginal zones do not express BCL-6. No other lymphoid cells in the tonsil express BCL-6 except for a subset of CD3+/CD4+ intrafollicular and interfollicular T cells. A few lymphoid cells of unknown phenotype express BCL-6 in the thymus. Extra-lymphoid BCL-6 expression includes a weak nuclear positivity of epithelia. In non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, BCL-6 expression parallels that observed in normal lymphoid compartments, eg, expression in germinalcenter-derived tumors (follicular and diffuse large cell lymphomas), but not in mantle cell and marginal zone lymphomas. In most diffuse large cell lymphomas, the BCL-6 protein is expressed at high levels in cases with or without BCL-6 gene rearrangements. These findings indicate that BCL-6 expression is specifically regulated during B lymphocyte development and suggest that BCL-6 may play a role during B cell differentiation in the germinal center.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||American Journal of Pathology|
|State||Published - 1995|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine