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Changes in Lymphocyte Surface Immunoglobulins in Myeloma and the Effect of an RNA-Containing Plasma Factor

Y. CHEN, M.D., Ph.D.; N. BHOOPALAM, M.D.; V. YAKULIS, B.S.; and P. HELLER, M.D., F.A.C.P.
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Grant support: in part by Veterans Administration Medical Research Funds and by a grant from the Leukemia Research Foundation.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Y. Chen, M.D., Veterans Administration West Side Hospital, P.O. Box 8195, Chicago, IL 60680.

Chicago, Illinois

Ann Intern Med. 1975;83(5):625-631. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-83-5-625
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Patients with multiple myeloma have a reduced number of B lymphocytes with normal surface immunoglobulin. When, however, anti-idiotypic antiserums to the respective myeloma globulins were used for the visualization of surface immunoglobulin by indirect immunofluorescence, a large number of surface immunoglobulin carrying lymphocytes were detected. The possibility of absorption of these monoclonal surface immunoglobulins from the surrounding plasma was excluded by showing their resynthesis after removal from the cells by trypsinization. The change in the character of surface immunoglobulin was reproduced on normal lymphocytes with an RNA-rich extract from the plasma of patients with myeloma; this effect was inhibited by RNase and cycloheximide. These findings suggest the possibility that an RNA-containing plasma factor transmits information for synthesis of surface immunoglobulins between myeloma cells and normal lymphocytes. This mechanism may contribute to the dysfunction of B lymphocytes in patients with myeloma, leading to immunologic deficiency.





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