Indirect immunofluorescence staining with monoclonal antibody (MoAb) CL203.4 of malignant cells from 269 patients with hematologic malignancies showed a heterogeneous expression of CD54/intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). This marker was expressed by malignant cells of 57 out of 118 patients with myeloid malignancies and 69 out of 135 with B-lymphoid malignancies. On the other hand, CD54 was not detected on malignant cells of 16 patients with T-lymphoid malignancies. In myeloid malignancies, CD54 is preferentially expressed by “stem cell-derived” malignancies, being detectable on blast cells from almost all patients affected by chronic myelogenous leukemia in blast phase or myelodysplastic syndromes and by only 34% of patients with de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The expression of CD54 did not correlate with any specific myeloid FAB subtype, although three cases of highly undifferentiated AML (FAB MO) displayed maximal levels of the antigen. The expression of CD54 in AML was significantly associated with that of CD34 and HLA-DR antigens. In B-lymphoid malignancies, CD54 expression appears to correlate with the differentiation stage of malignant cells, since B-origin acute lymphoblastic leukemias and conventional B-chronic lymphocytic leukemias (B-CLL; ie, “dim SIg” CLL) expressed lower levels of CD54 than more mature lymphoproliferative disorders (“bright SIg” CLL, prolymphocytic leukemias, and lymphoplasmacytic tumors). “High-grade” B- cell non-Hodgkin‧s lymphomas (B-NHL) express in general a higher level of CD54 than “low-grade” ones. This finding in conjunction with the expression of CD54 in all 17 patients with “bright SIg” CLL investigated (characterized by marked organomegaly and poor prognosis) suggest that the differential expression of CD54 in lymphoproliferative disorders may also relate to their degree of malignancy.

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