Identification of malignant plasma cell precursors in the bone marrow of multiple myeloma

F. Caligaris-Cappio, L. Bergui, L. Tesio, G. Pizzolo, F. Malavasi, M. Chilosi, D. Campana, B. van Camp, G. Janossy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Precursors of plasma cells were studied in the bone marrow of 28 patients with multiple myeloma, plasma cell leukemia, and benign monoclonal gammopathy. Pre-B and B-cell populations were analyzed with anti-B monoclonal antibodies corresponding to the clusters standardized at the Leucocyte Typing Workshops in Paris and Boston (CD9, CD10, CD19-22, CD24). In advanced forms of plasma cell malignancies, such as cases of multiple myeloma in stages II and III and of plasma cell leukemia, some cells of lymphoid morphology expressed common acute lymphoblastic leukemia antigen (CALLA, CD10) and HLA-DR, but contained no detectable terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase enzyme. These CALLA+ cells were absent in benign monoclonal gammopathies. In multiple myeloma, the CALLA+ cells were negative for surface and cytoplasmic immunoglobulins (Ig), and, unlike CALLA+, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT+) pre-B cells in the normal bone marrow also failed to react with antibodies to B cell-associated antigens such as CD9, CD19, CD22, and CD24. The CALLA+, Ig- cells could be regarded as preplasmacytic since, after having been separated and stimulated with the phorbol ester 12-0-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13 acetate in vitro, they transformed into plasma cells and synthesized the same heavy and light chains as myeloma cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1251
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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