Tumor-Infiltrating B Cell Immunoglobulin Variable Region Gene Usage in Invasive Ductal Breast Carcinoma

Peter SIMSA1, Jean-Luc TEILLAUD2, David I STOTT3, József TÓTH4, Beatrix KOTLAN1

1National Medical Center, Institute of Haematology and Immunology, Budapest, Hungary
2INSERM U255, Centre de Recherches Biomedicales des Cordeliers, Paris, France
3Division of Immunology, Infection and Inflammation, University of Glasgow, Western Infirmary, Glasgow, U.K.
4National Institute of Oncology, Budapest, Hungary


A major focus of tumor immunology is to reveal the potential role and capacity of immunocompetent cells found in different solid tumor tissues. The most abundant infiltrating cells (TIL), the T lymphocytes have been investigated in details concerning T-cell receptor usage and specificity. However, B cells have hardly been investigated in this respect, although high cellular B-cell infiltration has been correlated with improved patients’ survival in some breast carcinomas. This led to our objectives to study variable region gene usage of the tumor-infiltrating B cells in different breast carcinoma types. By defining the immunoglobulin repertoire of the tumor-infiltrating B lymphocytes in the most common invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) of the breast we compared it to the rare medullary breast carcinoma (MBC). After phenotyping infiltrating ductal carcinomas, B cells were obtained from tumor tissue by microdissection technique. Numerous rearranged TIL-B immunoglobulin heavy chain V genes (VH) were amplified, cloned, sequenced, and comparatively analyzed. Some characteristics were found for both breast carcinoma types. The immunoglobulins produced by TIL-B in ductal carcinoma are highly matured and oligoclonal. We conclude that Ig variable region gene usage reveals similar and distinguishable characteristics of TIL-B immunoglobulin repertoires, which are representative of the nature of the immune responses in invasive ductal and medullary breast carcinomas. Pathology & Oncology Research, Vol 11, Nr 2, 92-97, 2005

Key words: immunoglobulin variable region; breast ductal carcinoma; tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes

Received: Apr 7, 2005; accepted: May 15, 2005
Correspondence: Beatrix KOTLAN, National Medical Center, Institute of Haematology and Immunology, Szabolcs u 33-35. Budapest H-1135, Hungary; Tel: + 36 1 372 43 61, Fax: + 36 1 372 43 52; E-mail:

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