T-cell receptor gene rearrangements as markers of lineage and clonality in T-cell neoplasms
Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse
Ig gene rearrangements represent markers of lineage, clonality, and differentiation of B cells, allowing a molecular diagnosis and immunogenotypic classification of B-cell neoplasms. We sought to apply a similar approach to the study of T-cell populations by analyzing rearrangements of the T-cell receptor beta-chain (T beta) gene. Our analysis, by Southern blotting hybridization using T beta-specific probes of DNAs from polyclonal T cells and from 12 T-cell tumors, indicates that T beta gene rearrangement patterns can be used as markers of (i) lineage, allowing the identification of polyclonal T-cell populations, and (ii) clonality, allowing the detection of monoclonal T-cell tumors. In addition, our data indicate that T beta gene rearrangements represent early and general markers of T-cell differentiation since they are detectable in histologically different tumors at all stages of T-cell development. The ability to determine lineage, clonality, and stage of differentiation has significant implications for future experimental and clinical studies on normal and neoplastic T cells.