Although the pathogenesis of primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) remains unclear, it is hypothesized that specific chemokine-chemokine receptor interactions may attract malignant B lymphocytes into the CNS. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded brain biopsy specimens from 40 patients with PCNSL were immunostained by an indirect immunohistochemical method incorporating antigen retrieval to detect the presence of B-cell chemokines, stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1; CXCL12) and macrophage inflammatory protein-3α (MIP-3α, CCL20), and the SDF-1 receptor, CXCR4. To assist in phenotyping of SDF-1+ cells, specimens were also stained for CD20 (B cells). Positive staining for SDF-1 was identified in all PCNSL cases and in tonsil. In biopsy specimens, SDF-1 expression was localized to resident brain cells and, in 80% of specimens, CD20+ malignant lymphocytes. Tumor cells also stained positively for CXCR4. In contrast, although expression of MIP-3α was detected in tonsil, no expression of this chemokine could be demonstrated in PCNSL biopsy specimens. Our observations raise the possibility of targeting the SDF-1-CXCR4 signaling pathway as a potential treatment for PCNSL.
- B cell
- Primary central nervous system lymphoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine