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Leuk Lymphoma. 2002 Mar;43(3):613-6.

CD19 expression and growth inhibition of tumours in human multiple myeloma.

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  • 1Department of Bio-SignalAnalysis, Applied Medical Engineering Science, Graduate School of Medicine, Yamaguchi University, Ube, Japan.


Multiple myeloma (MM) is a proliferative disorder of monoclonal plasma cells which accumulate in human bone marrow (BM). CD19 is a hallmark differentiation antigen of the B cell lineage and positively regulates antigen receptor signal transduction in mature B cells. We have previously shown that malignant plasma cells (myeloma cells) isolated from the MM patients lack the CD19 expression, while non-malignant plasma cells isolated from the healthy donors do express the CD19 antigens. It is also intriguing that there exists both CD19- and CD19+ plasma cells in some cases in pre-myeloma states including monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). It indicates that MGUS is usually composed of phenotypically non-malignant (CD19+) and malignant (CD19-) plasma cells. Furthermore, we recently demonstrate that, expression of the CD19 gene markedly inhibits the proliferation of human myeloma cell lines in vitro, and exhibits the reduced tumorigenicity in vivo and no anchorage-independent growth in vitro of a tumorigenic myeloma cell line. This inhibitory effect might result from the CD19-mediated intracellular signals because it is not observed in cells expressing the mutant CD19, which lacks the cytoplasmic domain. In this review, we suggest that loss of CD19 in MM could contribute to the proliferative advantage of the malignant plasma cell clones in this disease. Furthermore, we propose the usefulness of the phenotypic analysis of plasma cells in human plasma cell dyscrasia as a new diagnostic tool, and the CD19 gene as a potential target for the gene therapy in MM.

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