The purpose of the study was to determine in human malignant lymphomas the expression patterns of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) and nicotinic acid phosphoribosyltransferase (NAPRT), the primary, rate-limiting enzymes in the synthesis of NAD+. NAMPT is a potential biomarker for sensitivity to NAMPT inhibitors and NAPRT is a biomarker for the use of nicotinic acid as a chemoprotectant in treatment with NAMPT inhibitors. The NAMPT inhibitor, APO866, is currently in clinical phase II trials in lymphomas. The expression of NAMPT and NAPRT was investigated in 53 samples of malignant lymphomas (diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular B-cell lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma and peripheral T-cell lymphoma). The expression of NAMPT was generally high in the more aggressive malignant lymphomas, with >80% strong expression, whereas the expression in the more indolent follicular lymphoma (FL) was significantly lower (>75% moderate or low expression, p = 0.0002). NAMPT was very highly expressed in Hodgkin Reed-Sternberg cells in Hodgkin's lymphoma. NAPRT expression was more varied (p > 0.0001) with 30-50% low expression except for Hodgkin's lymphoma where 85% displayed low expression (p = 0.0024). In conclusion, FL are a promising target for NAMPT inhibitors whereas substantial subsets of malignant lymphomas especially in Hodgkin lymphoma may be suitable for a combination treatment with nicotinic acid and NAMPT inhibitors.
© 2011 The Authors. APMIS © 2011 APMIS.