CD5+ diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) has recently been identified as a subgroup with different clinical characteristics from CD5- DLBCL and as having a poorer outcome than CD5- DLBCL. Data regarding differences in gene alteration between CD5+ and CD5- DLBCL have accumulated. In this article, we report an analysis of the immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene variable region (VH) gene in 35 cases of CD5+ DLBCL and compare these cases with those with the germline of the VH gene (GL-VH) and those with a somatically hypermutated VH gene (HM-VH).When the CD5+ DLBCL cases were subdivided with a cutoff value of 98% homology in the VH gene, there were 7 cases (20%) of GL-VH and 28 cases (80%) of HM-VH. The proportion of GL-VH cases in CD5+ DLBCL was more than that in CD5- DLBCL. Although we found no significant difference in pretreatment clinical parameters between the GL-VH and HM-VH subgroups, there was a tendency for the GL-VH subgroup to show lower incidences of elevation of lactate dehydrogenase and >1 site of extranodal involvement compared to the HM-VH subgroup. The overall survival curve of the HM-VH subgroup showed a rapid decline followed by a plateau, whereas that of the GL-VH subgroup declined constantly after 5 years, suggesting that GL-VH disease may not be curable by standard therapies. These findings suggest that CD5+ DLBCL with GL-VH shares clinical features with mantle cell lymphoma, the cellular origin of which has been considered to be pre-germinal center B-cells. We therefore propose that analysis of the VH gene is important for predicting the clinical course of CD5+ DLBCL.
Immunoglobulin heavy-chain genePCRGermlineGerminal center B-cellsCD5Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma