Microsatellite instability is rare in B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas
Microsatellite instability (MSI), a symptom of defect in DNA mismatch repair function, represents a type of genomic instability frequently detected in many types of cancers. However, the involvement of MSI in non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL) has not been conclusively investigated. In this study, we have tested the presence of MSI in 69 cases of B-cell NHL (B-NHL) representative of the various histologic categories of the disease and including 17 cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related B-NHL (AIDS-NHL). In addition, for selected B-NHL cases, consecutive samples obtained before and after clinical progression (with and without concomitant histologic transformation) were also investigated. Five distinct microsatellite repeats (2 dinucleotide, 2 trinucleotide, and 1 tetranucleotide repeats) were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction in all cases. MSI, defined by the presence of microsatellite alterations in two or more of the five microsatellite loci tested, was not found in NHL. In contrast to a previous study reporting the frequent association between MSI and AIDS-NHL, we found this abnormality in only 1 of 17 cases of AIDS-NHL representative of the major subtypes. Overall, these data indicate that defects in DNA mismatch repair do not contribute significantly to the molecular pathogenesis of B-NHL.