Previous studies using classical cytogenetics have demonstrated the presence of the t(11;14) (q13;q32) chromosomal translocation in some cases of lymphocytic lymphoma of intermediate differentiation (IDL), a distinct type of low grade B-cell lymphoma. This finding suggested that the bcl-1 region (located at band q13 of chromosome 11) might be involved in this neoplasm. Using a genomic probe from the major breakpoint area of the bcl-1 locus, we identified rearrangements of the bcl-1 region in 10 of 19 cases, 2 of which comigrated with a rearranged allele of the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene joining region. In contrast, bcl-1 rearrangements were not found in other types of low grade B-cell lymphoma, specifically in 36 cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL) and 27 cases of follicular lymphoma (FL). To further assess the molecular pathology of IDL, we analyzed these cases for rearrangements of the bcl-2 proto- oncogene, which is associated primarily with follicular lymphomas. None of the 19 cases of IDL had rearrangements. Furthermore, none of the 36 cases of CLL/SLL showed bcl-2 rearrangements, whereas, as expected, 21 of 27 cases of FL had rearrangements of the bcl-2 locus. Our findings demonstrate an association between a rearranged bcl-1 region with approximately 50% of IDLs and suggest that abnormalities of this locus may be important in the pathogenesis of IDL.

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