Membrane CD22 defines circulating myeloma-related cells as mature or later B cells

Vittorio Perfetti, Maurizio Colli Vignarelli, Vittorio Bellotti, Martin J. Glennie, Irene Zorzoli, Paola Ubbiali, Laura Obici, Margherita Massa, Giovanbattista Ippoliti, Edoardo Ascari, Giampaolo Merlini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Circulating clonally related earlier cells are present in multiple myeloma (MM) and may be involved in the dissemination of this disease, its recurrence, and chemoresistance. The nature, stage of differentiation, and size of this cell population remain uncertain. Unlike other B-cell markers, CD22 membrane expression is limited to the late differentiation stages comprised between mature B cells (CD22+) and plasma cells (PC; CD22-) and may thus be useful in delimiting the maturational state of circulating early myeloma cells. Peripheral blood clone-related cells were detected by anti- idiotypic (Id) monoclonal antibodies and found to express CD22 (92% to 95%), monotypic light and heavy chain (100%), and CD38 (45%) whereas bone marrow PC were CD22-negative. CD22 expression was also documented on functional myeloma PC precursors, defined as peripheral blood cells capable of in vitro cytokine-driven monotypic PC differentiation, because up to approximately 70% inhibition of this process was obtained in 10 myeloma patients through the use of bispecific antibodies (BsAb) that deliver the plant toxin saporin to CD22+ cells. As further evidence of CD22 on circulating abnormal cells, it was found that in the only patient analyzed for DNA content, a portion of the peripheral blood CD22+ cells killed were hyperdiploid. Collectively, these findings indicate that most peripheral blood myeloma PC precursors are mature or later B cells presenting membrane CD22. The pattern of CD22 expression suggests the existence in MM of a differentiation process analogous to the normal antigenic response. In which CD22+ B cells migrate to the bone marrow and lose CD22 with PC differentiation. In addition, the sensitivity of myeloma PC precursors to the cytotoxic effects of the anti-CD22 BsAb and the possibility of interfering with their differentiation have potential therapeutic relevance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-344
Number of pages12
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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