Follicular lymphoma (FL): immunological tolerance theory in FL
García-Muñoz R (1), Panizo C (2).
The ultimate cause of follicular lymphoma (FL) remains unknown. Remarkably, almost nothing is known about immunological tolerance mechanisms that might contribute to FL development.
Immunological tolerance mechanisms, like other stimuli, also induce persistent changes of B cell receptors that induce genetic instability and molecular aberrations promoting the development of a neoplasm.
Using the same method as Burnet, we provide a new perspective taking advantage of the comparison of a normal linear B cell differentiation process and FL development within the framework of clonal selection theory.
We propose that FL is a malignancy of cells that acquire both translocation t(14;18) and self-BCR, inducing them to proliferate and mature, resistant to negative selection. Additional genetic damage induced by non-apoptotic tolerance mechanisms, such as receptor editing, may transform a self-reactive B cell with t(14;18) into an FL.
The result of tolerogenic mechanisms and genetic aberrations is the survival of FL B cell clones with similar markers and homogenous gene expression signatures despite the different stages of maturation at which the molecular damage occurs.
To antagonize further growth advantage due to self-antigen recognition and chronic activation of tolerance mechanisms in the apoptosis-resistant background of FL B cells, inhibitors of BCR signaling may be promising therapeutic options.
CITATION Hum Immunol. 2016 Sep 29. pii: S0198-8859(16)30452-9. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2016.09.010