Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells in classical Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and lymphocytic and histiocytic (L&H) cells in nodular lymphocyte-predominant HL (NLPHL) are derived from germinal-center B cells. HRS cells have, however, largely lost their B cell phenotype and aberrantly express markers and transcriptional regulators of other hematolymphoid cell types. Deregulation of multiple signaling pathways and downstream transcription factors, including receptor tyrosine kinases, nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB), and Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT), is a further hallmark of HRS cells. These cells harbor genetic lesions that contribute to or cause increases in the activity of transcription factors of the NF-kappaB and STAT families. HRS cells are found within a mixed reactive cellular infiltrate and interact with these nonmalignant cells in a complex fashion that appears to be essential for HRS cell survival and proliferation. Less is known about the pathogenesis of L&H cells in NLPHL, but increases in the activity of receptor tyrosine kinases, NF-kappaB, and JAK/STAT have also been detected.