Background: The traditional view that immunoglobulin (Ig) is produced only by B lymphocytes has been challenged, because it has been demonstrated that Ig genes and proteins are expressed in epithelial cancer cells. However, whether Ig expression in nonlymphoid cells is limited to epithelial cells is unclear. Because sarcomas differ distinctly from carcinomas in their biologic and clinical features, the authors investigated the question of nonlymphoid IgG expression in soft tissue lesions.
Methods: Immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were used to demonstrate IgG expression in 80 soft tissue lesions. The correlation between Ig expression and proliferation markers (proliferating cell nuclear antigen [PCNA], Ki-67, and cyclin D1) in sarcomas was investigated by immunohistochemical and statistical analyses.
Results: Igkappa was identified in 97.4% of sarcomas and in 31.7% of benign lesions by immunohistochemistry. The difference was statistically significant (P < .01). Messenger RNA from the IgG1 heavy-chain constant region was also detected by in situ hybridization. Variable-diversity-joining recombination sequences of both heavy and light chains were obtained by PCR and sequencing. Moreover, the labeling index of PCNA, Ki-67, and cyclin D1 was much higher in sarcomas with high Igkappa expression than in sarcomas with low Igkappa expression (P < .01 for PCNA and cyclin D1; P < .001 for Ki-67). There were more grade 3 sarcomas with high Igkappa expression compared with grade 1 and 2 sarcomas (P < .05).
Conclusions: IgG was identified in a wide variety of soft tissue tumors and correlated well with proliferation markers and tumor grades. IgG may be a useful marker for cell proliferation in sarcomas.
(c) 2010 American Cancer Society.