Proliferation kinetics of plasma cells and of normal haemopoietic cells in multiple myeloma.

G. Ucci, A. Riccardi, P. Dörmer, M. Danova, R. Luoni, C. M. Montecucco, R. Ciotti, M. Girino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


DNA synthesis time (Ts) and 3H thymidine (TdR) labelling index (LI) of bone marrow (BM) myelomatous plasma cells (PC) and of the residual haemopoietic cell population (RHCP) were measured by in vitro quantitative 14C-TdR autoradiography in five patients with multiple myeloma (MM) in different phases of disease (three at presentation and two at relapse) and in one patient with solitary extra-osseous myeloma. One other patient with plasma cell leukaemia (PCL) was studied during an initial relapse phase and later during the leukaemic terminal phase. PC Ts was 18.8 +/- 3.7 (from 13.3 to 25.0) hr and PC LI was 2.5 +/- 1.8% (from 1.0 to 6.3%). In the case of PCL, circulating PC had a Ts of 14.4 hr and a LI of 3.1. From these experimental measurements, the fractional turnover rate (FTR-percentage of cells produced per unit time) and the potential doubling time (Td) of BMPC were calculated assuming that all BMPC were in a steady-state at the time of the study. BMPC FTR was 3.53 +/- 2.3% cells per day (from 1.2 to 6.72) and BMPC Td was 46.8 +/- 27.5 days (from 15.0 to 75.4). Comparison with results obtained in BM blasts of children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) indicated that BMPC had a lower proliferative activity (P less than 0.001), although BMPC Ts was not significantly different. In two patients a tumour doubling time of 6 and 13 months was determined by clinical follow up. Comparison of this parameter with Td showed a cell loss factor of more than 90% in both patients. Kinetic data relative to RHCP showed slight variations with respect to those found in normal subjects, with a general tendency towards a prolongation of Ts and a reduction of LI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-318
Number of pages8
JournalCell and Tissue Kinetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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