Expression of the Class II and III Beta-tubulin in neoplastic and non-neoplastic lymphoid tissues.

Document Type : Research Articles


Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Aim: Abnormal expression pattern ofBetatubulin isotypesmay provide a molecular rationalefor thebehaviour of lymphoma subtypes. The study assessed class II and III Beta-tubulin expression in non-neoplastic and neoplastic lymphoid tissues. Their differential expressions may have diagnostic implications and potential usefulness in the development of new tumour biomarkers.
Methods& results: This cross-sectional study investigated class II and III Beta-tubulin expression in 304 neoplastic and 20 normal lymphoid tissues using qualitatively and semi-quantitatively immunohistochemistry. Class II Beta-tubulin was expressed in the germinal centre, mantle zone and interfollicular region of normal lymphoid tissues. Class III Beta-tubulin expression however was germinal centre restricted. Among lymphomas, Class II Beta-tubulin was expressed in 15/15 (100%) lymphoblastic lymphomas, 229/231 (99%) mature B cell lymphomas, 22/22 (100%) T/NK-cell lymphomas and 36/36(100%) classical Hodgkin lymphomas. Class III Beta-tubulin expression however was more selective, found mainly in classical Hodgkin lymphomas (34/36 (94%)). It was also expressed in 58/171(34%) DLBCL, 11/12 (92%) mantle cell lymphomas and 6/6 (100%) Burkitt lymphomas. Other mature B cell, T/NK cell lymphomas and precursor lymphoblastic lymphomas were usually negative.
Conclusion:Class II Beta-tubulin shows ubiquitous expression in the neoplastic and non-neoplastic lymphoisd tissues. In contrast, Class III Beta-tubulin expression is germinal centre-restricted. Its consistent expression in classical Hodgkin lymphoma is useful in the identification of Reed-Sternberg and Hodgkin cells. Its expression in a proportion of DLBCL, Burkitt and mantle cell lymphomas is of interest as this may be related to their aggressiveness.


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