The Germinal centre-derived lymphomas seen through their cellular microenvironment

Br J Haematol. 2009 May;145(4):468-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2009.07651.x. Epub 2008 Mar 5.


The human lymph node is a complex tissue resulting from the microenvironmental organisation of different cell populations linked by topographical and/or functional relationships. Germinal centres (GCs) of lymphoid follicles contain a meshwork of follicular dendritic cells in addition to B-cells and some CD4(+) T cells. Moreover, there is a sharp demarcation around the whole follicle centre, which is highlighted by fibroblastic reticulum cells. On the whole, GC exerts a role in B cell physiology and malignancy. In GC-derived lymphomas, gene expression profiling studies have raised the possibility that survival of the affected patients may be associated with signatures preferentially expressed in non-malignant T cells and macrophages and/or dendritic cells. Immunohistological analyses in lymphoma biopsy samples have confirmed that the biological behaviour and tumour progression may be influenced by the tumour microenvironment. This review will examine GC-derived lymphomas, including follicular lymphomas, Hodgkin lymphomas and angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, through their integrated cellular microenvironment, highlighting those findings which may serve as a useful surrogate marker for tumour diagnosis or tumour progression, together with key molecules involved in tumour development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Germinal Center / physiology*
  • Hodgkin Disease / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / immunology*
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology