Genetic evidence for a clonal link between low and high-grade components in gastric MALT B-cell lymphoma

Histopathology. 1997 May;30(5):425-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2559.1997.5450786.x.


High-grade MALT lymphomas often contain low-grade tumour components; both cell populations have been shown to express the same immunoglobulin light chain previously. However, the clonal link between the low and high-grade components has not been established at the genetic level. To investigate this link, we have examined low- and high-grade components micro-dissected from tissue sections of four high-grade gastric MALT lymphomas. PCR and sequence analyses were performed to identify clone-specific rearranged immunoglobulin heavy chain gene sequences. In each of these cases, the PCR products from the two components were identical in size by electrophoresis. Direct sequencing revealed common clone-specific immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangements in both lesions of each case, providing genetic evidence for a clonal link. These results support the proposal that high-grade MALT lymphomas generally evolve from low-grade clones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Lineage
  • Clone Cells
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains / genetics
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / genetics*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Stomach Neoplasms / genetics*


  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains