To investigate whether the lymphocyte homing receptor (LHR), an adhesion molecule believed to play an important role in the control of normal lymphocyte circulation, influences the spread of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), expression of LHR was examined in 107 NHL of various histologic and immunophenotypic subclasses. This analysis revealed that whereas NHL with a putative derivation from recirculating mature T and B lymphocytes almost invariably express high levels of LHR, those akin to sessile mature or immature lymphocytes tend to express lower levels of LHR. Furthermore, in a survey among diffuse large-cell lymphomas of the B-lineage, the tumors of 11 of 13 patients with stage III/IV disease expressed moderate to high levels of LHR, whereas only two of 17 patients with stage I/II disease had tumors that did so. These findings suggest that LHR is involved in the dissemination of NHL.

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