Immunoreactivity of B-cell markers (CD79a, L26) in rare cases of extranodal cytotoxic peripheral T- (NK/T-) cell lymphomas

Mod Pathol. 2000 Jul;13(7):766-72. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.3880133.


The monoclonal antibodies L26 (CD20) and CD79a are very useful reagents for the immunohistochemical assessment of B-cell lineage in lymphoproliferative disorders. Although very few CD20-positive peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTL) have been reported, comprehensive analyses of CD79a reactivity in extranodal PTL and NK/T-cell lymphomas have not been performed previously. This study investigated CD79a (clone JCB117) and CD20 reactivity in 94 extranodal non-B-cell lymphomas (enteropathy-type intestinal T-cell lymphoma [n = 52], nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma [n = 11], and primary cutaneous PTL [n = 31]) and in 17 cases of nodal PTL, unspecified. In four cases (enteropathy-type intestinal T-cell lymphoma [n = 3] and nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma [n = 1]), the majority of tumor cells stained for CD79a (all CD20 negative) and one cutaneous PTL, unspecified, was CD20 positive (CD79a negative). Extensive immunophenotyping and polymerase chain reaction-based molecular analyses revealed that all five B-cell marker-positive extranodal lymphomas had a cytotoxic phenotype and did indeed represent monoclonal peripheral T-cell proliferations. To minimize the risk of misinterpretation of lymphoma cell lineage, especially in cases of extranodal, lymphoproliferative disease, we suggest the use of both CD79a and CD20 in combination with a panel of antibodies reactive to T cells, such as betaF1 and CD5, and to T cells and NK cells, such as CD3, CD2, CD56, and TIA-1.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, CD / analysis*
  • Antigens, CD20 / analysis*
  • CD79 Antigens
  • Clone Cells
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunophenotyping
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Killer Cells, Natural / chemistry*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / pathology
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Peripheral / chemistry*
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Peripheral / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / pathology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / analysis*
  • Skin Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / chemistry*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / pathology


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, CD20
  • CD79 Antigens
  • CD79A protein, human
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell