Despite their stromal origin, follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) share many functions with hematopoietic system cells. FDC neoplasms are currently classified by the World Health Organization along with those of a histiocytic nature. However, the molecular alterations driving oncogenesis in FDC sarcomas (FDCSs) are beginning to be unveiled, and do not seem to concur with those described in histiocytic neoplasms, namely MAPK pathway activation.


To identify molecular alterations driving tumorigenesis in FDCS.


We investigated the role of MYC and TP53 in FDC-derived tumor oncogenesis and assessed comprehensively the status of the MAPK pathway in 16 FDCSs, 6 inflammatory pseudotumor (IPT)–like FDCSs, and 8 IPTs.


MYC structural alterations (both amplifications and rearrangements) were identified in 5 of 14 FDCSs (35.7%), all associated with MYC overexpression. TP53 mutations were identified in 4 of 14 FDCSs (28.6%), all of which displayed intense and diffuse p53 expression. None of these alterations were identified in any IPT-like FDCS or in IPT cases. No MAPK pathway gene alterations were identified in any of the cases studied.


The presence of MYC and TP53 alterations and the lack of association with Epstein-Barr virus segregate classical FDCS from IPT-like FDCS, pointing at different oncogenic mechanisms in both entities. Our results suggest a possible oncogenic role of MYC and TP53 alterations in FDCS. The absence of MAPK pathway alterations confirms the lack of a significant role of this pathway in the oncogenesis of FDC-derived neoplasms.

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Competing Interests

The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.

Supplementary data