Age-Dependent Prevalence and Frequency of Circulating t(14;18)-Positive Cells in the Peripheral Blood of Healthy Individuals
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Circulating t(14;18)-positive cells were detected by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction on DNA isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNCs) from 644 healthy individuals between <1 and 91 years of age. In all, 45% of all samples (287/644) were positive, and 40% of the positive samples (114/287) contained more than one positive clone. The prevalence of t(14;18)-positive cells showed a strong correlation with age. A total of 36 cord blood samples and 48 PBMNCs from children <10 years were negative. The prevalence of circulating positive cells increased from the second to fifth decade of life from 20% to 66% and remained stable thereafter. Also the median frequency of circulating t(14;18)-positive cells as well as the prevalence of multiple clones showed an increase with age. In all, 4% (24/644) of all blood samples contained >1 positive cell in 25,000 cells, a finding restricted to healthy individuals >40 years. These results are discussed in relation to the low incidence of follicular lymphoma.
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