Tumor-associated inflammatory cells in classical Hodgkin lymphoma (CHL) typically outnumber the neoplastic Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg (H/RS) cells. The composition of the inflammatory infiltrate, particularly the fraction of macrophages, has been associated with clinical behavior. Emerging work from animal models demonstrates that most tissue macrophages are maintained by a process of self-renewal under physiologic circumstances and certain inflammatory states, but the contribution from circulating monocytes may be increased in some disease states. This raises the question of the source of macrophages involved in human disease, particularly that of CHL. Patients with relapsed CHL following allogeneic bone marrow transplant (BMT) provide a unique opportunity to begin to address this issue. We identified 4 such patients in our archives. Through molecular chimerism and/or XY FISH studies, we demonstrated the DNA content in the post-BMT recurrent CHL was predominantly donor-derived, while the H/RS cells were derived from the patient. Where possible to evaluate, the cellular composition of the inflammatory infiltrate, including the percentage of macrophages, was similar to that of the original tumor. Our findings suggest that the H/RS cells themselves define the inflammatory environment. In addition, our results demonstrate that tumor-associated macrophages in CHL are predominantly derived from circulating monocytes rather than resident tissue macrophages. Given the association between tumor microenvironment and disease progression, a better understanding of macrophage recruitment to CHL may open new strategies for therapeutic intervention.
Crane, G. M., Samols, M. A., Morsberger, L. A., Yonescu, R., Thiess, M. L., Batista, D. A. S., … Duffield, A. S. (2016). Tumor-infiltrating macrophages in post-transplant, relapsed classical Hodgkin lymphoma are donor-derived. PLoS ONE, 11(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0163559