We present the first comparison of global transcriptional changes in canine and human diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), with particular reference to the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappa'B) pathway. Microarray data generated from canine DLBCL and normal lymph nodes were used for differential expression, co-expression and pathway analyses, and compared with analysis of microarray data from human healthy and DLBCL lymph nodes. The comparisons at gene level were performed by mapping the probesets in canine microarrays to orthologous genes in humans and vice versa. A considerable number of differentially expressed genes between canine lymphoma and healthy lymph node samples were also found differentially expressed between human DLBCL and healthy lymph node samples. Principal component analysis using a literature-derived NF-kappa B target gene set mapped to orthologous canine array probesets and human array probesets clearly separated the healthy and cancer samples in both datasets. The analysis demonstrated that for both human and canine DLBCL there is activation of the NF-kappa B/p65 canonical pathway, indicating that canine lymphoma could be used as a model to study NF-kappa B-targeted therapeutics for human lymphoma. To validate this, tissue arrays were generated for canine and human NHL and immunohistochemistry was employed to assess NF-kappa B activation status. In addition, human and canine B-cell lymphoma lines were assessed for NF-kB activity and the effects of NF-kappa B inhibition.
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