Production of interleukin-1 by bone marrow myeloma cells

F. Cozzolino, M. Torcia, D. Aldinucci, A. Rubartelli, A. Miliani, A. R. Shaw, P. M. Lansdorp, R. Di Guglielmo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plasma cells isolated from bone marrow (BM) aspirates of 12 patients with multiple myeloma (MM) and nine patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) were analyzed for production of cytokines with bone-resorbing activity, such as interleukin-1 (IL-1), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and lymphotoxin (LT). Culture supernatants of plasma cells from MM, but not from MGUS or normal donor, invariably contained high amounts of IL-1-β and lower amounts of IL-1-α. With a single exception, TNF/LT biologic activity was not detected in the same supernatants. IL-6 was present in two of five supernatants tested. Normal B lymphocytes released both IL-1 and TNF/LT activities for four days after activation in vitro; however, production of these cytokines ceased at the final stage of plasma cell. Unexpectedly, the mRNA extracted from MM plasma cells hybridized with TNF- and LT-specific, as well as IL-1-specific probes, although the culture supernatants did not contain detectable TNF/LT biologic activity. When tested in the fetal rat long bone assay, MM plasma cell supernatants displayed a strong osteoclast-activating factor (OAF) activity, which was greatly reduced but not completely abolished by neutralizing anti-IL-1 antibodies. Anti-TNF or anti-LT antibodies were ineffective in the same test. We conclude that the IL-1 released in vivo by malignant plasma cells has a major role in pathogenesis of lytic bone lesions of human MM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-387
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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