Expression of CD21 antigen on myeloma cells and its involvement in their adhesion to bone marrow stromal cells

Naihui Huang, Michio M. Kawano, Maged S. Mahmoud, Keiichiro Mihara, Takako Tsujimoto, Otsura Niwa, Atushi Kuramoto

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35 Citations (Scopus)


The mature myeloma cells express very late antigen 5 (VLA-5) and MPC-1 antigens on their surface and adhere to bone marrow (BM) stromal cells more tightly than the VLA-5-MPC-1- immature myeloma cells in vitro. The VLA-5 and MPC-1 antigens possibly function as two of the molecules responsible for interaction of mature myeloma cells with BM stromal cells. However, the immature myeloma cells do interact with BM stromal cells, and it is unclear which adhesion molecules mediate their interaction. In this study, we found that both immature and mature myeloma cells expressed CD21, an adhesion molecule known to bind to CD23. CD21 was also detected on normal plasma cells. To evaluate the role of CD21 expression on myeloma cells, two myeloma cell lines, NOP-2 (VLA-5-MPC-1-) and KMS-5 (VLA-5+MPC-1+), were used as representatives of immature and mature myeloma cell types, respectively, and an adhesion assay was performed between the myeloma cell lines and BM stromal cells. Antibody-blocking results showed that adhesion of the mature type KMS- 5 to KM102, a human BM-derived stromal cell line, or to short-term cultured BM primary stromal cells was inhibited by monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) against CD21, VLA-5, and MPC-1, and inhibition of adhesion of the immature type NOP-2 to KM102 by the anti-CD21 MoAb was observed as well. Furthermore, CD23 was detected on KM102. Treatment of KM102 with an anti-CD23 MoAb also inhibited adhesion of either KMS-5 or NOP-2 to KM102. Therefore, we propose that CD21 expressed on myeloma cells likely functions as a molecule responsible for the interaction of immature myeloma cells as well as mature myeloma cells with BM stromal cells, and CD23 may be the ligand on the stromal cells for the CD21-mediated adhesion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3704-3712
Number of pages9
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15-06-1995
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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