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JCI Insight. 2019 Apr 23;5. pii: 127807. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.127807.

Early alterations in stem-like/resident T cells, innate and myeloid cells in the bone marrow in preneoplastic gammopathy.

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Department of Hematology/Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Winship Cancer Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Section of Hematology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
Department of Pediatrics, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Preneoplastic lesions carry many of the antigenic targets found in cancer cells but often exhibit prolonged dormancy. Understanding how the host response to premalignancy is maintained and altered during malignant transformation is needed to prevent cancer. In order to understand the immune microenvironment in precursor monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and myeloma, we analyzed bone marrow immune cells from 12 healthy donors and 26 MGUS/myeloma patients by mass cytometry and concurrently profiled transcriptomes of 42,606 single immune cells from these bone marrows. Compared to age-matched healthy donors, memory T cells from both MGUS and myeloma patients exhibit greater terminal-effector differentiation. However, memory T cells in MGUS show greater enrichment of stem-like TCF1/7hi cells. Clusters of T cells with stem-like and tissue-residence genes were also found to be enriched in MGUS by single-cell transcriptome analysis. Early changes in both NK and myeloid cells were also observed in MGUS. Enrichment of stem-like T cells correlated with a distinct genomic profile of myeloid cells and levels of Dickkopf-1 in bone-marrow plasma. These data describe the landscape of changes in both innate and adaptive immunity in premalignancy and suggest that attrition of the bone-marrow-resident T cell compartment due to loss of stem-like cells may underlie loss of immune surveillance in myeloma.


Adaptive immunity; Cancer; Immunology; Oncology

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