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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2002 August;137(4):231-8

Copyright © 2002 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Studying primary cutaneous lymphomas by micromanipulation and single cell PCR. A review

Gellrich S., Muche J. M., Jahn S., Sterry W.

Department of Dermatology Medical Faculty (Charité) Humboldt University Berlin, FRG


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The micromanipulation or microdissection technique involving the use of glass pipette or the use of a LASER- beam was developed for isolation of defined cell subsets. Because it may be difficult to differentiate between the malignant and the reactive cell population in cutaneous lymphomas, the PCR analysis from individual cells can reveal the clonal nature of lymphoma cells in dependence of the histological pattern. Although, the microdissection and single cell PCR technique is a time consuming method, it is a useful tool for interpretation of difficult cases in cutaneous lymphoproliferative disorders. The amplification and sequencing of the T cell and B cell receptor genes allows the analysis of individual lymphocyte gene rearrangements, as i.e. of the variable region of the immunoglobulin light and heavy chain gene or of the T cell receptor or T cell receptor gene in lymphoproliferative skin diseases. It could be shown, that the immunoglobulin genes of primary cutaneous B-cell lymphoma cells of the follicular type and of the large cell type reflect a germinal center cell reaction characterized by intraclonal diversity of the ma-
lignant B-lymphocytes. In primary cutaneous T-cell lymphomas, the B-cells may be bystander cells representing the repertoire of peripheral blood or of naive B-lymphocytes. The investigation of primary cutaneous T-cell lymphomas, especially from different stages in mycosis fungoides depictures the distribution of malignant and reactive cells. In conclusion, the micromanipulation and single cell PCR allows a precise correlation of genetic and morphological features in primary cutaneous lymphomas.

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