Immunodiagnostic capabilities of anti-free immunoglobulin light chain monoclonal antibodies

Am J Clin Pathol. 2008 Nov;130(5):702-11. doi: 10.1309/AJCPNS6K1CYJPDBA.


Overproduction of plasma cell-derived monoclonal free kappa or lambda immunoglobulin light chains (FLCs) is a hallmark of multiple myeloma, AL amyloidosis, and light chain deposition disease. Because these components serve as unique cellular and serologic biomarkers, their detection and quantitation has diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic import. In this regard, we have developed monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that specifically recognize the kappa or lambda FLC products of all known human variable and constant region light chain genes. We now report the results of our studies that have demonstrated the capability of these reagents to measure, in a modified fluid-phase capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), serum kappa and lambda FLCs at concentrations as low as 5 and 15 ng/mL, respectively. The mAb-based ELISA has greater sensitivity and reproducibility than does the commercially available immunoturbidimetric assay that uses polyclonal anti-FLC antibodies. In addition, the mAbs can immunostain monoclonal FLC-producing plasma cells and pathologic light chain-related amyloid and nonfibrillar tissue deposits. Our anti-FLC mAbs, with their high degree of reactivity and versatility, may provide an invaluable tool in the diagnosis and management of light chain-associated disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amyloidosis / diagnosis
  • Amyloidosis / immunology
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal*
  • Bence Jones Protein / immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin kappa-Chains / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin lambda-Chains / immunology
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / diagnosis
  • Multiple Myeloma / immunology
  • Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia / diagnosis
  • Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains
  • Immunoglobulin kappa-Chains
  • Immunoglobulin lambda-Chains
  • Bence Jones Protein