Demonstration of distinct antigenic profiles of small B-cell lymphomas by paraffin section immunohistochemistry

Am J Clin Pathol. 1999 Sep;112(3):319-29. doi: 10.1093/ajcp/112.3.319.


The immunoperoxidase technique was used with antibodies against B-cell-associated antigens, including CD20, CD79a, CD10, CD23, CD43, cyclin D1, bcl-2, and kappa and lambda immunoglobulin light chains on formalin-fixed and B5-fixed tissue sections of follicular, small lymphocytic, mantle cell, and marginal zone lymphomas. Results obtained with paraffin section immunohistochemistry for CD20, CD10, CD23, and kappa and lambda light chains were compared with results obtained with flow cytometry or frozen section immunohistochemistry. Cells in all of the lymphoma types were positive for CD20 and CD79a. The antigenic profiles of the B-cell lymphomas demonstrated in paraffin sections were lymphoma type distinctive. Intrafollicular lymphocytes in follicular lymphomas were positive for CD10 and bcl-2. Small lymphocytic lymphomas expressed CD43 and CD23 and were negative for CD10 and cyclin D1. Mantle cell lymphomas characteristically expressed CD43 and cyclin D1 and were negative for CD23 and CD10. Marginal zone lymphomas were negative for CD23, CD10, and cyclin D1. All of the antibodies performed better in B5-fixed tissues, but formalin-fixed tissue immunophenotypes were always similar to those obtained on the B5-fixed tissue. These results were possible using well-fixed tissue, various antigen retrieval strategies, paraffin section reactive primary antibodies, and sensitive detection systems. Paraffin section immunohistochemistry on sections of routinely fixed tissue can be used similarly to flow cytometry and frozen section immunohistochemistry when classifying the lymphomas of small B lymphocytes.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • Epitopes
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / immunology*
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Phenotype
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Epitopes