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Am J Kidney Dis. 2000 Oct;36(4):735-44.

Cytotoxicity of myeloma light chains in cultured human kidney proximal tubule cells.

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Department of Medicine, Nephrology Section, Tulane Cancer Center.


We evaluated the effect of eight species of light chains on cultured human kidney proximal tubule cell proliferation. Exposure to light chains for 48 hours caused dose-dependent inhibition in tritium ((3)H)-thymidine incorporation by simian virus 40 immortalized human proximal tubule cells, although the effect was variable among different species of light chains. We studied cytotoxic effects of selected toxic light chains in further detail. Two of these light chains caused significant DNA degradation. A lambda-light chain caused lactate dehydrogenase release from exposed cells at 48 hours, but not at 24 hours. Cytomorphological and electron microscopic examination of cells exposed to light chains for 24 hours showed condensed nuclei, cell detachment, paucity of mitotic activity, and apoptosis, and at 48 hours of exposure, changes consistent with necrosis. Apoptosis assay by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling method showed a sixfold increase in the number of apoptotic cells exposed to the same lambda-light chain for 24 hours. Rhodamine-phalloidin staining showed variable but significant disruptions in the actin cytoskeleton. These studies show that some myeloma light chains are toxic to cultured human proximal tubule cells and induce cytoskeletal injury and DNA damage consistent with apoptosis followed by secondary necrosis. Direct proximal tubule cell toxicity may be an important mechanism of renal involvement in multiple myeloma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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