We have verified the hypothesis that multiple myeloma (MM) may be disseminated by circulating clonogenic cells that selectively home to the bone marrow (BM) to receive the signal(s) leading to proliferation, terminal differentiation, and production of the osteoclast activating factors. Long-term cultures of stromal cells have been developed from the BM of nine patients with MM. These cells were mostly fibroblast-like elements, interspersed with a proportion of scattered macrophages and rare osteoclasts. BM stromal cells were CD54+, produced high levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and measurable amounts of IL-1β, and were used as feeder layers for autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). After 3 weeks of cocultures, monoclonal B lymphocytes and plasma cells, derived from PBMC, developed and the number of osteoclasts significantly increased. Both populations grew tightly adherent to the stromal cell layer and their expansion was matched by a sharp increase of IL-6 and by the appearance of IL-3 in the culture supernatant. These data attribute to BM stromal cells a critical role in supporting the growth of B lymphocytes, plasma cells, and osteoclasts and the in vivo dissemination of MM.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 15 1991|
ASJC Scopus subject areas