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ORIGINAL ARTICLECpG-ODN Stimulation in Population Screening Monoclonal B-Cell Lymphocytosis by Helena Podgornik, Petra Bajuk, Tadej Furlan, Hermina Cibej, Ana D. Kebe, Peter Cernelc

Background: Synthetic CpG-oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODN) induce proliferation in normal and malignant lymphocytes B (LyB). This effect is widely exploited in CLL conventional chromosome banding analysis (CBA), which has become reliable only after the cultivation of CLL LyB using CpG-ODN stimulation in combination with IL-2. Monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL) differs from CLL mainly in clone size. Only cytogenetic data on recurrent chromosomal aberrations analyzed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) are available for population screening MBL (sMBL). In sMBL the clone of malignant LyB is typically below 10/µL. We compared CpGODN stimulation in healthy donors and in individuals with sMBL.
Methods: LyB and MBL LyB count were determined by flow cytometry in 15 samples from healthy subjects and 12 MBL cases. Mitotic indices were determined and CBA was done after cultivation of samples by CpG-ODN + IL2. In MBL samples, FISH analysis was performed on isolated LyB.
Results: MBL LyB clones in sMBL cases presented less than 1% of WBC and up to 33% of LyB. The MBL group was therefore compared to the group of healthy donors. Although normal and MBL group did not differ in WBC, overall LyB, and normal LyB count, a significantly higher mitotic index was observed in MBL samples (p = 0.0139). We were able to accomplish CBA in all samples which revealed a normal karyotype in all but one case. In this particular sMBL case FISH performed on isolated LyB showed 5% trisomy 12 which was later confirmed by CBA on CpG stimulated blood sample in 15% of metaphases.
Conclusions: Our study, which was done on MBL cases obtained by population screening, confirmed that CpGODN preferentially induced proliferation in MBL LyB over normal LyB. Therefore, CBA can also be successfully accomplished in sMBL and can be used to additionally confirm clonality as well as to improve sensitivity of FISH analysis. Due to coexistence of comparable size of normal and malignant LyB, MBL can serve as a model for exvivo studying of LyB stimulation by CpG-ODN.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2017.170603