In 1982 Stein and coworkers identified a new molecule, CD30 (Ki-1), which is expressed by Reed-Sternberg cells of classical Hodgkin’s disease. CD30 is a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNF-R) superfamily, which comprises more than 10 different members. CD30 has an extracytoplasmic domain, transmembrane region, and a cytoplasmic domain. The majority of mAbs against human CD30 recognize epitopes within the extracytoplasmic domain. The protein is heavily glycosylated within the Golgi apparatus (120 kDa). A variant form (CD30v) having only the cytoplasmic domain is expressed in alveolar macrophages. CD30 has a ligand molecule (CD30L also designated as CD153), which is present on neutrophils, activated T-cells, macrophages and monocytes. Lymphoid cells carrying viral EBV, HIV, and HTLV-1 genomes express high levels of CD30. It is not clear whether this is due to viral transactivation of CD30 or it correlates with cell activation and proliferation. CD30 is found in activated B lymphocytes, plasma cells, T lymphocytes, NK cells, monocytes, large lymphoid cells in lymph node, tonsil, thymus, deciduas and endometrial cells with decidual change.


Among malignant lymphoma CD30 is expressed in classical Hodgkin’s disease (cHD), anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), anaplastic variant of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (av-DLBCL), and CD30 positive cutaneous lymphoproliferative disorder. Some cases of mycosis fungoides can have significant CD30 expression. Primary effusion lymphoma and Castleman’s disease may also be positive (association with HHV8). Expression of CD30 has also been demonstrated in embryonal carcinoma and some seminomas (mixed germ cell tumour).


Classification of malignant lymphoma and other lymphocytic lesions, see Neoplasms. Classification of carcinomas and germ cell tumours, viz. identification of embryonal carcinoma (together with OCT3/4).


Tonsil is recommended as positive and negative tissue control for CD30. The protocol must be calibrated to provide a weak to moderate but distinct membranous staining reaction of interfollicular activated B- and T-cells, and activated B-cells primarily located in the rim of the germinal centres. Virtually all other cells must be negative. Plasma cells, macrophages and endothelial cells may be positive depending on the primary antibody clone applied (e.g. plasma cells can be positive using the mAb Ber-H2, endothelial cells and macrophages can be positive using the mAb JCM182).

Selected references

Durkop H, Foss HD, Eitelbach F, Anagnostopoulos I, Latza U, Pileri S, Stein H. Expression of the CD30 antigen in non-lymphoid tissues and cells. J Pathol. 2000 Apr;190(5):613-8. Mechtersheimer G, Moller P. Expression of Ki-1 antigen (CD30) in mesenchymal tumors. Cancer. 1990 Oct 15;66(8):1732-7. Pileri SA, Ascani S, Leoncini L, Sabattini E, Zinzani PL, Piccaluga PP, Pileri A Jr, Giunti M, Falini B, Bolis GB, Stein H. J Clin Pathol. 2002 Mar;55(3):162-76. Hodgkin's lymphoma: the pathologist's viewpoint.

22.04.15 - ET/MV/LE