Abortive mitoses and nuclear DNA fragmentation in CD30+ large cells of Hodgkin's disease

Leuk Lymphoma. 1996 Jun;22(1-2):119-24, follow. 186, color plate XI. doi: 10.3109/10428199609051738.


This study was undertaken to better comprehend the reasons for the scarcity of Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (H-RS) cells in Hodgkin's disease (HD) despite their expression of "proliferation-associated antigens". To this end, we assessed the relative frequency of mitotic phases and nuclear damage (detected by in situ end-labeling of DNA strand breaks) in CD30+ large cells of nodular sclerosis and mixed cellularity HD. Our results show that a) most CD30+ cells in HD exhibit abortive mitoses, with a highly significant arrest at the metaphase-ana/telophase transition, and b) many of these elements, i.e. mainly H-RS cells, show fragmentation of nuclear DNA, suggesting imminent or actual death. Percentages of CD30+ cells that entered mitosis and those with DNA strand breaks were of a similar order of magnitude and correlated significantly in a linear fashion. These findings are consistent with the concept that cell deletion is the major cause of the paucity of H-RS cells in HD.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Division
  • DNA Fragmentation*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • Female
  • Hodgkin Disease / genetics
  • Hodgkin Disease / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Ki-1 Antigen / analysis*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitosis*
  • Reed-Sternberg Cells / chemistry
  • Reed-Sternberg Cells / pathology*


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Ki-1 Antigen