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ABSTRACT: Malignant plasma cells (PC) from multiple myeloma (MM) patients characteristically home to the bone marrow (BM). High numbers of tumour cells are found in the peripheral blood (PB) only at end-stage disease (secondary plasma cell leukaemia, PCL) in a minority of patients. Using flow cytometric and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis, a high percentage of tumoral BM PC from untreated patients was found to express CD106. In addition, these cells also expressed an activated form of CD29, as determined using the CD29 activation reporter monoclonal antibody HUTS-21. Adhesion-binding experiments showed that CD106+-activated CD29+ BM PC from these patients adhered to fibronectin (FN) in a CD29/CD49d-dependent manner. In contrast, marrow PC from progressive patients and BM or circulating malignant cells from secondary PCL patients expressed lower levels or were negative for CD106 and activated CD29, respectively, with a decreased or zero ability to adhere to FN. The expression of constitutive CD29 and CD49d, however, was similar during disease progression. We conclude that BM myelomatous cells co-express CD106 and a functionally active form of CD29. Moreover, our results suggest that the loss of expression and/or function of these antigens are associated with the progression of MM and may explain the exit of tumoral cells from the BM.
British Journal of Haematology 11/2002; 119(1):70-8. · 4.94 Impact Factor