Flow cytometric detection of aneuploid CD38(++) plasmacells and CD19(+) B-lymphocytes in bone marrow, peripheral blood and PBSC harvest in multiple myeloma patients.Leuk Res. 2004 May; 28(5):469-77.LR
DNA aneuploidy has been used as a genetic marker of malignancy in multiple myeloma (MM). CD38 and CD138 expression and absence of CD22 and CD19 may define plasmacells (PC). Several authors support evidences of circulating plasmacells, and their role in relapse after autologous stem cell transplantation has been hypothesised. The existence of B-lymphocytes belonging to the myeloma clone is still controversial. If CD19 or CD22 positive B-lymphocytes are part of the myeloma clone, there should be evidence of myeloma-specific genetic markers in this population. Using DNA content measurement in combination with CD19 or CD38 detection in a multiparametric flow cytometry analysis, we studied bone marrow and peripheral blood of 10 aneuploid MM patients. In the bone marrows of all these 10 aneuploid patients (100%), we detected CD38(++) aneuploid plasmacells (27 +/- 17%, mean +/- S.D.) and a small number of CD19(+) aneuploid lymphocytes (0.11 +/- 0.074%). In 100% of these patients, we also detected CD38(++) aneuploid circulating plasmacells (0.6 +/- 0.9 %) and a small number of CD19(+) aneuploid lymphocytes (0.03 +/- 0.04%). In this study, we detected aneuploid CD19(+) lymphocytes and CD38(++) plasmacells in bone marrow and peripheral blood of all MM patients. A crucial role for the detection of aneuploid CD19(+) cells was played by the acquisition of a sufficient number of CD19(+) lymphocytes by using a "live gate" acquisition and "continuous gating" analysis. With the techniques used in this study, it was possible to detect aneuploid B lymphoid cells among normal diploid B cells. The significance of this finding is controversial and opened to different interpretations.