Inflammation and tissue repair markers distinguish the nodular sclerosis and mixed cellularity subtypes of classical Hodgkin's lymphoma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • A Birgersdotter
  • A Porwit
  • J Sjöberg
  • M Björkholm
  • I Ernberg

Colleges, School and Institutes


BACKGROUND: Classical Hodgkin's lymphoma (cHL), although a malignant disease, has many features in common with an inflammatory condition. The aim of this study was to establish the molecular characteristics of the two most common cHL subtypes, nodular sclerosis (NS) and mixed cellularity (MC), based on molecular profiling and immunohistochemistry, with special reference to the inflammatory microenvironment. METHODS: We analysed 44 gene expression profiles of cHL whole tumour tissues, 25 cases of NS and 19 cases of MC, using Affymetrix chip technology and immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: In the NS subtype, 152 genes showed a significantly higher expression, including genes involved in extracellular matrix (ECM) remodelling and ECM deposition similar to wound healing. Among these were SPARC, CTSK and COLI. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the NS-related genes were mainly expressed by macrophages and fibroblasts. Fifty-three genes had a higher expression in the MC subtype, including several inflammation-related genes, such as C1Q alpha, C1Q beta and CXCL9. In MC tissues, the C1Q subunits were mainly expressed by infiltrating macrophages. CONCLUSIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS: We suggest that the identified subtype-specific genes could reflect different phases of wound healing. Our study underlines the potential function of infiltrating macrophages in shaping the cHL tumour microenvironment. British Journal of Cancer (2009) 101, 1393-1401. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6605238 Published online 22 September 2009 (C) 2009 Cancer Research UK


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1393-1401
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2009


  • wound healing, Hodgkin's lymphoma, gene expression, microenvironment