• immunohistochemistry;
  • Hodgkin's disease;
  • non-Hodgkin's lymphoma;
  • formalin fixation;
  • lymphocyte activation

A panel of antibodies that recognize antigens that survive fixation and conventional processing have been applied to 43 cases of Hodgkin's disease and five cases of large cell anaplastic lymphoma. Reed-Sternberg cells in all five cases of nodular lymphocyte predominance Hodgkin's disease were positive with leucocyte common (CD45) and B-cell antibodies, and negative with LeuM1 (CD15) and BerH2 (CD30) antibodies. In other types of Hodgkin's disease, Reed-Sternberg cells were positive with BerH2 in all cases, positive with LeuM1 in 63% of cases (with enzymic predigestion), positive with at least one B-cell antibody in 29% of cases and positive for CD45 in 8% of cases. In 19% of all cases, Reed-Sternberg cells were positive for epithelial membrane antigen and in 93% they were positive with TAL1B5 (anti-class II MHC). No case showed immunoreactivity with anti-T-cell antibodies. The patterns of immunoreactivity of large cell anaplastic lymphoma were similar, except that none was positive with B-cell antibodies and three were positive with T-cell antibodies. All five were positive with BerH2 (CD30) and TAL1B5. Comparison of the results with those seen in other cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma indicates that, with the currently available reagents, this immunohistological profile cannot be used as the sole diagnostic discriminant of these conditions; this must still be based upon careful morphological assessment.