Idiotype identity in a MALT-type lymphoma and B cells in Helicobacter pylori associated chronic gastritis

Lab Invest. 1994 Apr;70(4):572-8.


Background: To investigate the mechanisms triggering MALT-lymphoma development, we examined the occurrence of normal B cells in lymphoid tissue and chronic gastritis with the same idiotype as an IgA-positive MALT lymphoma.

Experimental design: Lymphoma idiotype IgA was produced by monoclonal human antibody technology. Against this idiotype a murine monoclonal antibody 27/165 with anti-idiotypic (alpha Id) specificities was raised, and applied immunohistochemically to identify the non-neoplastic precursor B cells in non-neoplastic human tissues.

Results: alpha Id 27/165 reacted exclusively with the IgA expressing MALT lymphoma but not with 20 other MALT-type gastric lymphomas nor with 26 nodal lymphomas and was not reactive with normal and inflamed lymph nodes. alpha Id 27/165 immunoreactivity was also absent from MALT of different mucosal sites but was readily encountered on a substantial number of lymphocytes and plasma cells in 95% cases of chronic gastritis associated with Helicobacter pylori (H.p.). The target antigen of the lymphoma IgA was found to be a common antigen of IgA and IgM plasma cells of MALT but not a constituent of bacteria commonly involved in the pathogenesis of gastritis.

Conclusions: The distinct binding of alpha Id 27/165 to only reactive mucosal B cells is a first direct evidence for the evolution of MALT-type lymphoma from chronic gastritis. Since the target antigen of the lymphoma IgA has been found to be an autoantigen of MALT plasma cells it is suggested that this MALT-type lymphoma may have arisen after triggering by an autoimmune response resulting from H.p.-induced gastritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Gastric Mucosa / immunology
  • Gastritis / immunology*
  • Helicobacter Infections / immunology*
  • Helicobacter pylori / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Hybridomas / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin Idiotypes / immunology
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / classification
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / immunology*
  • Male


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Immunoglobulin Idiotypes