Molecular characterization of Warthin tumor

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Objective.Warthin tumor of the salivary gland is composed of oncocytic epithelium with a prominent follicular lymphoid infiltrate. The purpose of this study was to characterize the clonality of this lymphoid component by means of polymerase chain reaction technology.Study design.DNA was isolated from paraffin-embedded tissue from 20 cases of typical Warthin tumor of the salivary gland and amplified by polymerase chain reaction to assess B- and T-cell clonality.Results.No dominant clonal populations were identified in any tumor. However, minor clonal expansions of both B and T cells were detected in up to 50% of tumors (immunoglobulin H, 50%; T-cell antigen receptor β, 10%; T-cell antigen receptor γ, 5%). No tumors showed evidence of bcl-2 proto-oncogene translocation, whereas 95% contained detectable Epstein-Barr virus DNA.Conclusion.The B- and T-cell components of Warthin tumor are polyclonal with oligoclonal expansion of both T and B cells in some lesions.

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