The expression of the B-cell marker mb-1 (CD79a) in Hodgkin's disease

Histopathology. 1994 Jun;24(6):511-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.1994.tb00568.x.


Recent evidence indicates that membrane-bound immunoglobulin on B lymphocytes is associated with a molecule which comprises the products of the mb-1 and B29 genes. This molecule is a highly specific marker for B-cells, presumably because of its central functional role in antigen triggering, and has recently been clustered as CD79a at the 5th Leucocyte Workshop. Recently there has been controversy surrounding reports of B-cell antigen expression by Reed-Sternberg and related cells, and we have therefore studied 108 cases of Hodgkin's disease immunohistochemically using a novel antibody which detects mb-1 protein in paraffin sections. The results were compared with those achieved using antibody L26 to detect CD20. The mb-1 protein was present in the neoplastic cells in all 14 cases of lymphocyte predominance Hodgkin's disease studied, and CD20 immunoreactivity was also found in seven of the eight cases of this subtype studied. Of the non-lymphocyte predominance cases, 20% (19/94) expressed mb-1 and 30% (20/67) CD20 in the Reed-Sternberg cells, but the cells positive for either of these two markers usually constituted only a very small proportion of the neoplastic population. However, in occasional cases (one of 94 for mb-1 and five of 67 for CD20), more than 50% of the neoplastic cells expressed one or both B-cell antigens. These results confirm the B-cell origin of the neoplastic cells in lymphocyte predominance Hodgkin's disease, but they also indicate that, contrary to our previous study, mb-1 expression may occasionally be found in what appears, on histological grounds, to be other types of Hodgkin's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / analysis*
  • Antigens, CD20
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte / analysis
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • CD79 Antigens
  • Hodgkin Disease / immunology
  • Hodgkin Disease / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / analysis*
  • Mice
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / analysis*
  • Reed-Sternberg Cells
  • T-Lymphocytes


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, CD20
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CD79 Antigens
  • CD79A protein, human
  • Cd79a protein, mouse
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell