Patterns of spectrin expression in B-cell lymphomas: Loss of spectrin isoforms is associated with nodule-forming and germinal center-related lymphomas

Eric B. Gorman, Lugen Chen, Joseph Albanese, Howard Ratech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Spectrins are a family of cytoskeletal proteins that organize and link membranes to subcellular motors and filaments. Although traditionally divided into erythroid and non-erythroid forms, the discovery of new spectrin isoforms in various tissues indicates that their distribution is not yet fully characterized. To our knowledge, there is no comprehensive analysis of spectrins in lymphoid malignancies. Using tumor microarrays of paraffin blocks, we immunohistochemically studied 10 lymph nodes with reactive lymphoid hyperplasia and 94 lymph nodes involved by B-cell malignant lymphoma. Expression of spectrins αI, αII, βI, βII, and βIII was scored using a 20% cutoff for positive immunoperoxidase staining. All spectrin isoforms, except erythroid-specific αI spectrin, were detected in lymph nodes with reactive lymphoid hyperplasia. In contrast, various spectrins were lost in particular B-cell malignant lymphomas. Based on the absence of staining for one or more spectrin isoforms in at least 50% of cases, we identified three patterns: (1) loss of αII and βII in follicular lymphoma, grades 2/3 and 3/3; nodular lymphocyte predominance Hodgkin's lymphoma; nodular sclerosis Hodgkin's lymphoma; (2) loss of βI only in Burkitt lymphoma; and (3) loss of αII and βI in mixed cellularity Hodgkin's lymphoma. In contrast, follicular lymphoma, grade 1/3 and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma retained spectrin in 67-100% of cases. The other lymphoma subtypes retained spectrin in greater than 50% of cases. We identified the loss of particular spectrin isoforms in B-cell malignant lymphomas that have a nodular growth pattern and/or are believed to arise from germinal center B-cells, that is follicular lymphoma, grades 2/3 and 3/3; Burkitt lymphoma; nodular sclerosis Hodgkin's lymphoma; mixed cellularity Hodgkin's lymphoma; and nodular lymphocyte predominance Hodgkin's lymphoma. The absence of particular spectrin isoforms may correlate with transformation or aggressive biologic behavior for some lymphoma subtypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1245-1252
Number of pages8
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 14 2007



  • Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Malignant lymphoma
  • Spectrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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