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Am J Hematol. 1989 Feb;30(2):53-60.

Abnormalities in lymphocyte profile and specificity repertoire of patients with Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia, multiple myeloma, and IgM monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


The characteristics of T and B lymphocyte profile and B lymphocyte specificity repertoire were compared in patients with Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (WM), IgM monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (IgM MGUS), multiple myeloma (MM), and age-matched normal subjects. Patients with MM had both significantly reduced frequency and number of sIg+ (surface Ig) B cells, whereas patients with WM and IgM MGUS had a reduced frequency but normal numbers of sIg+ B cells in circulation as detected in a capping assay. WM was distinguished by the large numbers of cells in the peripheral blood lymphocyte (PBL) pool that expressed CD9 (BA-2) and CD24 (BA-1) and were monoclonal, based on light chain analysis using flow cytometry. The profile of T lineage cells showed that the ratio of CD4:CD8 was significantly reduced in both MM and WM due to a reduction in the CD4 set. The CD4+ cells were qualitatively abnormal as well, with an enriched proportion of the 4B4+ (CDw29) subset and decreased proportion of the Lp220+ (CD45R) subset. This appeared to be an effect of the disease process on the relatively immature Lp220+ set. From clonal analysis, those patients with WM or IgM MGUS (unlike MM patients) did not exhibit enhanced reactivity with auto-Ig determinants, and most WM patients (7/8) and half of the IgM MGUS patients (3/6) did not have enriched proportions of B cells reactive to tetanus toxoid (TT). The TT-specific B cells in both WM and IgM MGUS, in contrast to MM, appeared fully functional in secretion of anti-TT IgM in vivo. We speculate that the more severe immunodeficiency in MM may be controlled or exacerbated by the presence of an anti-Ig network. The absence of this network in WM allows a relatively more effective immune response, but the immunodeficiency that is observed in these patients involves some abnormality in normal lymphocyte differentiation (is also present in MM).

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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