Intra-tumoral Cytolytic Cells: Pattern of Distribution in B-cell Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma


1Cancer Research Institute, Tata Memorial Centre, Parel, Mumbai, India
2Tata Memorial Hospital, Tata Memorial Centre, Parel, Mumbai, India


Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (NHLs) constitute a heterogeneous group of lymphoid neoplasms and a majority of them in India are of B-cell phenotype. Varying numbers of T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells are consistently present within the lymph nodes (LNs). The role of these ''reactive'' cells is becoming understood. TIA-1 is a cytotoxic granule associated RNA binding protein, the expression of which is restricted to cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) and NK cells. Snap frozen lymph node biopsies obtained from 41 B-cell NHLs were localized for intra-tumoral TIA-1 + cytolytic cells by immunohistochemistry. Distribution of T cell subsets and NK cells were also quantified. Cells expressing TIA-1 antigen was observed in all the cases, seen as a strong granular cytoplasmic signal. Results indicate significantly higher number of TIA-1 cytolytic cells outside (periphery of the follicle and interfollicular areas) than within the neoplastic follicle in follicular lymphomas (p<0.001). In small lymphocytic lymphomas, cytolytic cells were mainly seen as uniformly scattered single cells, distributed throughout the tumor environment. In mantle cell and diffuse large B-cell lymphomas these were most often seen as small clusters and less frequently as singly scattered cells. Higher numbers of CD4 + than the CD8 + T cells were observed in most cases. Contrary to the follicles in follicular hyperplasia, CD57 + NK cells were predominantly observed outside the neoplastic follicle in follicular lymphomas (FLs). These results outline specific interactions between the potential anti-tumoral cytolytic and the malignant cells of B-cell NHLs. Pathology & Oncology Research, Vol 6, Nr 2, 114-117, 2000

Key words: lymphoma; T-cells; CD4; CD8; TIA-1; NK cells; tumor infiltrating lymphocytes; cytotoxic cells; B-cell

Received: Jan 7, 2000; accepted: Apr 20, 2000
Correspondence: Jayshree NADKARNI, Cancer Research Institute, Tata Memorial Centre, Parel, Mumbai 400 012, India, Fax: 91-22-4146089; E-mail:

Click here to get the full-text version in PDF!