Expression of the T-cell transcription factors, GATA-3 and T-bet, in the neoplastic cells of Hodgkin lymphomas

Am J Pathol. 2005 Jan;166(1):127-34. doi: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)62238-9.


Since Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) generally have immunoglobulin gene rearrangements, they are considered to be of B-cell origin. One of the characteristics of HRS cells is a prominent production of various cytokines and chemokines. Cytokine production is generally driven by expression of T-cell transcription factors (TFs). Only limited information is available on the expression of T-cell TFs in HL. Expression of four T-cell TFs and the target cytokine spectrum of these TFs were analyzed in six HL and three large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL) cell lines using quantitative PCR. ERM expression was observed in all HL and LBCL cell lines. Out of HL cell lines, T-bet was expressed in five, GATA-3 in four, and c-Maf in two cell lines. Immunohistochemistry in HL tissues revealed that in 11 of 12 (92%) of the classical HL cases HRS cells were GATA-3 and/or T-bet positive. In three of six cases of nodular lymphocyte predominance type of HL, the neoplastic cells were T-bet positive. Overall, the T-cell TF and cytokine profiles of the HL cell lines showed a considerable degree of consistency. The expression of T-cell TFs may explain the production of various cytokines by HL cell lines and HRS cells.

MeSH terms

  • B-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • GATA3 Transcription Factor
  • Gene Rearrangement, B-Lymphocyte / genetics
  • Hodgkin Disease / genetics*
  • Hodgkin Disease / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Interleukins / genetics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reed-Sternberg Cells / pathology
  • T-Box Domain Proteins
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Trans-Activators / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • GATA3 Transcription Factor
  • GATA3 protein, human
  • Interleukins
  • T-Box Domain Proteins
  • T-box transcription factor TBX21
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors