Analysis of microsatellite instability in chronic lymphoproliferative disorders

G. Volpe, B. Gamberi, C. Pastore, A. Roetto, M. Pautasso, G. Parvis, C. Camaschella, U. Mazza, G. Saglio, G. Gaidano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microsatellite instability (MSI) represents one specific pattern of genomic instability and is one of the genetic lesions most frequently detected in human neoplasia. Although MSI has been found to be associated with a wide variety of solid cancers, its involvement in lymphoid malignancies is virtually unexplored. In this study, we have investigated the presence of MSI in chronic lymphoproliferative disorders by comparing the pattern of nine microsatellite repeats (two tetranucleotides, two trinucleotides, and five dinucleotides) on autologous germline and tumor DNA of 23 patients, including 17 with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (B-CLL/SLL), four with hairy cell leukemia, one with lymphoplasmacytoid lymphoma, and one with T-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia. All samples at diagnosis displayed a germline pattern of the microsatellites examined, thus suggesting that MSI is not involved in the pathogenesis of these lymphoproliferations. Also, no microsatellite alterations were observed in consecutive samples of B-CLL/SLL obtained from the same patient at various stages of the disease both before and after chemotherapy. Conversely, alterations in 319 microsatellite repeats were detected in one case of Richter's syndrome which had evolved from a pre-existent B-CLL/SLL phase. Overall, the low frequency of MSI among chronic lymphoproliferative disorders adds further weight to the common view that the mechanisms and patterns of genomic instability in lymphoid neoplasia differ markedly from those commonly observed in solid cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-71
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Hematology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1996


  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Genomic instability
  • Lymphoma
  • Microsatellite instability
  • Richter's syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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