We used arbitrarily primed polymerase chain reaction (AP-PCR) fingerprinting to identify chromosomal imbalances in six primary mediastinal B-cell lymphomas (PMBLs). Seventy-four chromosomal imbalances were detected, consisting of 49 sequence gains and 25 losses. Amplifications on chromosome X were seen in five cases, four of which involved the same chromosomal locus. Nonrandom gains at the same locus were also identified on chromosomes 2 and 7 in four cases and on chromosomes 5, 9, and 12 in three cases. Five PMBLs were also analyzed by comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), which found chromosome arm 9p amplification as the only nonrandom imbalance. Our data demonstrate that chromosomal amplifications outnumber losses in PMBL. These mainly involve chromosomes 9 and X and may reflect more complex phenomena, such as translocations or other chromosomal rearrangements, as AP-PCR found coexistent gains and losses on these chromosomes. Comparison between AP-PCR and CGH suggests that anomalies affecting the same chromosomal regions may occur at much higher frequencies than expected by CGH, suggesting that genomic amplifications are usually confined to DNA segments smaller than the megabase long segments required for detection in CGH. Modest increases in genetic material may be as effective as higher-level amplifications when affecting sites where a proto-oncogene resides.
Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.