Phenotypic and functional characterization of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells derived from patients with multiple myeloma

Leukemia. 2007 Jan;21(1):158-63. doi: 10.1038/sj.leu.2404466. Epub 2006 Nov 9.


Multiple myeloma (MM) is a B-cell neoplasia caused by the proliferation of clonal plasma cells, primarily in the bone marrow (BM). The role of the BM microenvironment in the pathogenesis of the disease has been demonstrated, especially for the survival and growth of the myeloma plasma cells. Functional characterization of the major component of the BM microenvironment, namely the recently characterized mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), was never performed in MM. Based on a series of 61 consecutive patients, we evaluated the ability of MSCs derived from myeloma patients to differentiate into adipocytes and osteocytes, inhibit T-cell functions, and support normal hematopoiesis. MSCs phenotypic characterization and quantification of interleukin-6 (IL-6) secretion were also performed. As compared to normal MSCs, MSCs from MM patients exhibited normal phenotype, differentiation capacity and long-term hematopoietic support, but showed reduced efficiency to inhibit T-cell proliferation and produced abnormally high amounts of IL-6. Importantly, these characteristics were observed in the absence of any detectable tumor plasma cell. Chromosomal analysis revealed that MM patients MSCs were devoid of chromosomal clonal markers identified in plasma cells. MM MSCs present abnormal features that may participate in the pathogenesis of MM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Interleukin-6 / biosynthesis
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / pathology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / pathology*
  • Osteoclasts / pathology
  • Plasma Cells / physiology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Up-Regulation


  • Interleukin-6