The results of single-cell PCR analysis of Reed-Sternberg cells suggest that most Reed-Sternberg cells are derived from germinal-center B cells with rearranged immunoglobulin genes. The absence of t(12:5) in Hodgkin disease is consistent with its derivation from B cells and supports the notion that it is different from anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, which is likely derived from cytotoxic T cells. The paucity of cases of Hodgkin disease with t(14:18) suggests a lack of relationship between HD and follicular center-cell lymphomas. This is consistent with the molecular evidence that reveals the presence of clonal crippling mutations in the immunoglobulin receptor in Reed-Sternberg cells, compared with somatic hypermutation in follicular center-cell lymphomas.
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