Immunolocalization of the ICE/Ced-3-family protease, CPP32 (Caspase-3), in non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, chronic lymphocytic leukemias, and reactive lymph nodes

Stanislaw Krajewski, Randy D. Gascoyne, Juan M. Zapata, Maryla Krajewska, Shinichi Kitada, Mukesh Chhanabhai, Douglas Horsman, Ken Berean, Lawrence D. Piro, Isabelle Fugier-Vivier, Yong Jun Liu, Hong Gang Wang, John C. Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Immunohistochemical analysis of the apoptosis-effector protease CPP32 (Caspase-3) in normal lymph nodes, tonsils, and nodes affected with reactive hyperplasia (n = 22) showed strong immunoreactivity in the apoptosis-prone germinal center B-lymphocytes of secondary follicles, but little or no reactivity in the surrounding long-lived mantle zone lymphocytes. Immunoblot analysis of fluorescence-activated cell sorted germinal center and mantle zone B cells supported the immunohistochemical results. In 22 of 27 (81%) follicular small cleaved cell non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphomas, the CPP32- immunopositive germinal center lymphocytes were replaced by CPP32-negative tumor cells. In contrast, the large cell component of follicular mixed cells (FMs) and follicular large cell lymphomas (FLCLs) was strongly CPP32 immunopositive in 12 of 17 (71%) and in 8 of 14 (57%) cases, respectively, whereas the residual small-cleaved cells were poorly stained for CPP32 in all FLCLs and in 12 of 17 (71%) FMs, suggesting that an upregulation of CPP32 immunoreactivity occurred during progression. Similarly, cytosolic immunostaining for CPP32 was present in 10 of 12 (83%) diffuse large cell lymphomas (DLCLs) and 2 of 3 diffuse mixed B-cell lymphomas (DMs). Immunopositivity for CPP32 was also found in the majority of other types of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas studied. Plasmacytomas were CPP32 immunonegative in 4 of 12 (33%) cases, in contrast to normal plasma cells, which uniformly contained intense CPP32 immunoreactivity, implying downregulation of CPP32 in a subset of these malignancies. All 12 peripheral blood B-cell chronic lymphocyte leukemia specimens examined were CPP32 immunopositive, whereas 3 of 3 small lymphocytic lymphomas were CPP32 negative, suggesting that CPP32 expression may very depending on the tissue compartment in which these neoplastic B cells reside. The results show dynamic regulation of CPP32 expression in normal and malignant lymphocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3817-3825
Number of pages9
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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