Discordant expression of CD3 and T-cell receptor beta-chain antigens in T-lineage lymphomas

L. J. Picker, M. B. Brenner, L. M. Weiss, S. D. Smith, R. A. Warnke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Using an immunoperoxidase technique that identifies both surface and cytoplasmic antigen expression, the authors examined 28 benign reactive lymphoproliferative lesions and 55 T-lineage lymphomas for reactivity with CD3 (Leu-4; T-cell receptor-associated antigen) and βF1 antibodies, the latter recognizing nonpolymorphic determinants on T-cell receptor beta chains. Consistent with previous observations that these two antigens are co-expressed on the vast majority of thymocytes, peripheral blood T cells and tonsillar T cells, all 28 reactive lymphoproliferations showed essentially identical patterns of CD3 and βF1 expression. In contrast, only 29 of 55 T-lineage lymphomas displayed coexpression of these antigens. Among 33 peripheral T-cell lymphomas, 11 cases showed CD3/βF1 discordance (7 CD3+/βF1-; 4 CD3-/βF1+), and 5 showed absence of both these antigens. Nine of 22 T-lymphoblastic lymphomas showed CD3/βF1 discordance (all CD3+/βF1-), and 1 case was CD3-/βF1-. These patterns of CD3/βF1 expression, along with the patterns of CD2, CD4, CD5, CD7, and CD8 antigen expression in these neoplasms, indicate that T-cell lymphomas can manifest phenotypes not apparently reflective of normal T populations and suggest the presence of abnormal gene expression in these malignancies. The existence of aberrant phenotypes in T-cell neoplasia suggests caution in interpretation of investigations using T-lineage malignancies as models of normal T-cell biology. Finally, the identification of phenotypic abnormalities in T-lineage populations can be of great diagnostic usefulness in the delineation of benign versus malignant T-cell proliferations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-440
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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