Deposition of kappa and lambda light chains in amyloid filaments of dialysis-related amyloidosis

D. Brancaccio, G. M. Ghiggeri, P. Braidotti, A. Garberi, M. Gallieni, V. Bellotti, U. Zoni, R. Gusmano, G. Coggi

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β2-Microglobulin (β2m) is considered to be the amyloidogenic precursor in dialysis-related amyloidosis, although the implication of other relevant cofactors in the pathogenesis of this disease has also been hypothesized. It is conceivable that substances found in amyloid deposits might represent something more than simple codeposition, possibly playing a pathogenic role in amyloidogenesis. Along these lines, a detailed analysis of the protein composition of amyloid fibrils purified from synovial material surgically obtained from nine patients on long-term dialysis was carried out. By the use of sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, several other protein components, in addition to β2m, were found. These were characterized by NH2 amino-terminal sequencing and immunoblotting. In fibrils obtained by water extraction, which fulfill the electron microscopy criteria of highly pure amyloid material, polyclonal kappa and lambda light chains were detected with a concentration of 15 μg/mL in the water extraction material; the β2m concentration was 200 μg/mL. Light microscopy immunohistochemistry was performed on samples from five patients. Amyloid deposits reacted with anti-β2m, and anti-light (kappa, lambda), chain antibodies. The immunoreaction of amyloid filaments to anti-β2m, anti-lambda, and anti-kappa light chain antibodies was also tested by electron microscopy by use of the immunogold staining procedure. Amyloid filaments were labeled by the three antibodies and showed a different intensity of immunostaining apparently related to their different aggregation pattern. These observations demonstrate that polyclonal immunoglobulin light chains (kappa and lambda) are not contaminants but, together with β2m, represent a major constituent of amyloid deposits in dialysis-related osteoarticular amyloidosis, thus indicating their possible role in amyloidogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1262-1270
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • β2-Microglobulin
  • Biochemistry
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Immunoelectronmicroscopy
  • Immunohistochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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