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The Monoclonal Nature of Lymphocytes in Multiple Myeloma: Effects of Therapy

NABIH I. ABDOU, M.D., Ph.D.; and NANCY L. ABDOU, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: grant #642-0030, from the Veterans Administration, and grant AI 00319, from the U. S. Public Health Service.

Presented in part at a meeting of the American Federation of Clinical Research, Atlantic City, New Jersey, 4 May 1975.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Nabih I. Abdou, M.D., Room 403-C, Section of Allergy/Immunology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66103.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Kansas City, Missouri


Ann Intern Med. 1975;83(1):42-45. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-83-1-42
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Despite the increased amounts of serum immunoglobulins (Ig) in multiple myeloma, the percentage of bone marrow-dependent (B) cells carrying surface Ig in the peripheral blood compartment were decreased, when compared with that in control patients with polyclonal gammopathy or with that in normals (5 ±2% in patients with multiple myeloma and 19 ±5% or 22 ±7% in controls). Most circulating B cells in patients with multiple myeloma were shown to carry individually specific idiotypic Ig. The monoclonal idiotypic nature of the surface Ig was shown by using antiserums raised against the monoclonal Ig. The idiotypic antiserum was capable of actively binding to and stimulating the idiotypic lymphocytes to divide in vitro. Commercial anti-Ig antiserums raised against normal Ig did not bind to the myeloma lymphocytes. After chemotherapy, lymphocytes carrying the idiotypic Ig decreased in numbers, and this correlated with other variables of clinical improvement. Its role in the pathogenesis of myeloma and its importance for diagnosis and follow-up of patients with myeloma are discussed.

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