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Ann Neurol. 1986 Jul;20(1):63-9.

Free kappa light chains in multiple sclerosis spinal fluid.


Based on prior reports of free light chains of immunoglobulin G (IgG) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), we quantitated free kappa and lambda chains and whole IgG concentrations using sensitive and specific radioimmunoassays (RIAs). The RIA for free kappa chains had a sensitivity of 0.25 micrograms/ml and was capable of specifically measuring free kappa chains in whole CSF or serum even in the presence of a 4-log excess of whole IgG. By RIA, free kappa chains were detected in CSF samples from 33 (84%) of 39 MS patients but in only 1 (2.4%) of 42 controls. The control patients included 10 with noninfectious inflammatory diseases and 9 with central nervous system infections. The concentration of free kappa chains in the CSF of the MS patients was 1.40 +/- 1.21 micrograms/ml. Free kappa chains were concentrated in the CSF 71- to 120-fold relative to reference proteins. In contrast, increased levels of free lambda chains or of whole IgG were nonspecific; abnormalities were seen in controls with infections or inflammatory diseases as often as in MS patients. These studies suggest that the measurement of free kappa light chains may have important diagnostic usefulness, since the specificity of the finding for MS appears to be high.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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