Origin and pathogenesis of B cell lymphomas

Methods Mol Biol. 2013:971:1-25. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-269-8_1.


Immunoglobulin (Ig) gene remodeling by V(D)J recombination plays a central role in the generation of normal B cells, and somatic hypermutation and class switching of Ig genes are key processes during antigen-driven B cell differentiation. However, errors of these processes are involved in the development of B cell lymphomas. Ig locus-associated translocations of proto-oncogenes are a hallmark of many B cell malignancies. Additional transforming events include inactivating mutations in various tumor suppressor genes, and also latent infection of B cells with viruses, such as Epstein-Barr virus. Many B cell lymphomas require B cell antigen receptor expression, and in several instances chronic antigenic stimulation plays a role in sustaining tumor growth. Often, survival and proliferation signals provided by other cells in the microenvironment are a further critical factor in lymphoma development and pathophysiology. Many B cell malignancies derive from germinal center B cells, most likely because of the high proliferation rate of these cells and the high activity of mutagenic processes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • B-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / etiology*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / genetics
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / pathology*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / virology
  • Tumor Microenvironment