Background/Aims: As critical post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression, microRNAs are involved in several cellular processes of vital impact including cell growth and apoptosis. Many hematologic malignancies exhibit distinct microRNA signatures. MicroRNA implication in the pathogenesis of nodal marginal zone lymphoma (NMZL), however, remains widely elusive. Methods: Comprehensive morphologic, immunophenotypic and cytogenetic studies were carried out on a cohort of NMZL (n = 30) incorporating indolent as well as transformed MZL. In addition, microRNA signatures were generated, employing a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction approach. These were then compared to signatures from cases of diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) alongside reactive lymph node controls. Results: While microRNA signatures of low-grade and transformed NMZL did not differ significantly, several microRNAs were differentially expressed between transformed NMZL and DLBCL, hinting at molecularly distinct mechanisms of lymphomagenesis and indicating the biological disparity of transformed NMZL from DLBCL. Conclusion: In the light of the unresolved issue regarding the classification of marginal zone-derived transformed B-cell neoplasms, microRNAs may be a valuable aid in discriminating NMZL from DLBCL. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel

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