British Journal of Haematology vol:93 issue:1 pages:242-9
Trisomy 3 represents the most frequent and consistent chromosomal abnormality characterizing the recently defined entity marginal zone B-cell lymphoma (MZBCL). By cytogenetic analysis and/or fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) on interphase nuclei we found in increased copy number of chromosome 3 in 22/36 (61%) successfully analysed cases, including 8/12 cases with extranodal MZBCL, 8/13 cases with nodal MZBCL, and 6/11 patients with splenic MZBCL. Sensitivity of interphase cytogenetics was somewhat higher than that of conventional cytogenetic investigation. Structural chromosomal changes involving at least one chromosome 3 were seen in 11/20 cases with an increased copy number of chromosome 3: +de(3)(p13) was demonstrated in three cases, and was the sole chromosomal abnormality in one of them; +i(3)(q10) was seen in two other patients; and rearrangements involving various breakpoints on the long arm of chromosome 3 were found in the remaining cases. FISH on metaphase spreads confirmed these structural abnormalities and additionally showed two unexpected translocations involving chromosome 3. We conclude that: (1) trisomy 3 occurs in a high proportion of extranodal, nodal and splenic MZBCL; (2) FISH on interphase nuclei is an additional and sensitive tool in detecting an increased copy number of chromosome 3 in MZBCL; (3) additional structural abnormalities involving the long arm of chromosome 3 are frequent but non-recurrent and are perhaps secondary changes; and (4) abnormalities such as +del(3)(pl3) and +i(3)(q10) suggest that genes located on the long arm of chromosome 3 are of particular importance in the pathogenesis of MZBCL.