Expression of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) in germinal centre B cells and their neoplastic counterparts

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Cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) is known to facilitate the transfer of lipids between plasma lipoproteins. Previous studies on human tissues have determined that the spleen contains large amounts of CETP mRNA, while the exact location of CETP in such organs remains unknown. In the present study, our aim was to locate CETP protein expression at the cellular level in human normal and neoplastic lymphoid organs.

Methods and results

In-situ hybridization (ISH) and immunohistochemistry were applied to pathology specimens. A specific rabbit anti-CETP antibody was used for immunohistochemical analysis, together with another CETP-specific monoclonal antibody. A riboprobe for ISH was derived from CETP cDNA. Immunohistochemically, CETP was localized in germinal centre B cells and a proportion of marginal zone B cells. ISH showed that CETP mRNA was located mostly in the same areas. When 141 malignant lymphomas of various subtypes were studied, high expression of CETP, equivalent to that found in normal germinal centre B cells, was demonstrated in lymphoma subtypes that are currently regarded as the neoplastic counterparts of primarily germinal centre B cells.


CETP localizes B cells in germinal centres, a proportion of post-germinal centre B cells and their neoplastic counterparts.

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