Hodgkin lymphoma cells express TACI and BCMA receptors and generate survival and proliferation signals in response to BAFF and APRIL
B-Cell Activating Factor
B-Cell Maturation Antigen
Transmembrane Activator and CAML Interactor Protein
Tumor Necrosis Factor Ligand Superfamily Member 13
Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) originates from the clonal expansion of malignant Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells. These B-cell-derived elements constitute less than 10% of the tumoral mass. The remaining tissue is comprised of an inflammatory infiltrate that includes myeloid cells. Myeloid cells activate B cells by producing BAFF and APRIL, which engage TACI, BCMA, and BAFF-R receptors on the B cells. Here, we studied the role of BAFF and APRIL in HL. Inflammatory and HRS cells from HL tumors expressed BAFF and APRIL. Unlike their putative germinal center B-cell precursors, HRS cells lacked BAFF-R, but expressed TACI and BCMA, a phenotype similar to that of plasmacytoid B cells. BAFF and APRIL enhanced HRS cell survival and proliferation by delivering nonredundant signals via TACI and BCMA receptors through both autocrine and paracrine pathways. These signals caused NF-kappaB activation; Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and c-Myc up-regulation; and Bax down-regulation, and were amplified by APRIL-binding proteoglycans on HRS cells. Interruption of BAFF and APRIL signaling by TACI-Ig decoy receptor, which binds to and neutralizes BAFF and APRIL, or by small-interfering RNAs targeting BAFF, APRIL, TACI, and BCMA inhibited HRS cell accumulation in vitro and might attenuate HL expansion in vivo.