Endothelial Cells In B-cell Lymphomas Tumor-related

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Findings by Austrian researchers indicate that the microvascular endothelial cells found in B-cell lymphomas contain markers of the neoplasm itself. This runs counter to the previously held assumption that such endothelial cells are normal diploid cells that are genetically stable.

The findings, which appear in the July 15th issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, are based on cytogenetic analysis of endothelial cells found in 27 non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphomas.

Dr. Andreas Chott, from the Medical University of Vienna and colleagues found that 15% to 85% of the endothelial cells contained lymphoma-specific chromosomal changes. Moreover, numerical chromosomal aberrations seen in the lymphoma cells were also found in the endothelial cells.

The researchers offer four possible explanations for how endothelial cells come to display the genetic aberrations of the surrounding tumor.

Firstly, lymphoma and endothelial cells may be derived from the same pluripotent stem cells. Secondly, the tumor cell may come from a lymphoid lineage that under suitable environmental stimuli becomes an endothelial cell. Thirdly, lymphoma and endothelial cells may simply fuse. Finally, endothelial cells may phagocytize apoptotic debris from lymphoma cells.

"Not all blood vessels are created equal," Dr. Isaiah J. Fidler of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, co-author of a related editorial, told Reuters Health.

"Understanding the complex interactions between cancers and their supporting blood vessels," he added, could lead to more appropriate anti-vascular therapies."

Source: N Engl J Med 2004;351:215-216,250-259. [ Google search on this article ]

MeSH Headings: Endothelium, Vascular : Lymphoma, B-Cell

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