Differentiation stage of myeloma plasma cells: biological and clinical significance
Paiva B (1), Puig N (2), Cedena MT (3), de Jong BG (4), Ruiz Y (3), Rapado I (3), Martinez-Lopez J (3), Cordon L (5), Alignani D (1), Delgado JA (1), van Zelm MC (4,6), Van Dongen JJ (4), Pascual M ()1, Aguirre X (1), Prosper F (1), Martín-Subero JI (7), Vidriales MB (2), Gutierrez NC (2), Hernandez MT (8), Oriol A (9), Echeveste MA (10), Gonzalez Y (11), Johnson SK (12), Epstein J (12), Barlogie B (12), Morgan GJ (12), Orfao A (13), Blade J (14), Mateos MV (2), Lahuerta JJ (3), Miguel JF (1).
The notion that plasma cells (PCs) are terminally-differentiated has prevented intensive research in multiple myeloma (MM) about their phenotypic plasticity and differentiation.
Here, we demonstrated in healthy individuals (n=20) that the CD19-CD81 expression axis identifies three bone marrow (BM)PC subsets with distinct age-prevalence, proliferation, replication-history, immunoglobulin-production, and phenotype, consistent with progressively increased differentiation from CD19+CD81+ into CD19-CD81+ and CD19-CD81- BMPCs.
Afterwards, we demonstrated in 225 newly-diagnosed MM patients that, comparing to normal BMPC counterparts, 59% had fully-differentiated (CD19-CD81-) clones, 38% intermediate-differentiated (CD19-CD81+), and 3% less-differentiated (CD19+CD81+) clones. The latter patients had dismal outcome, and PC differentiation emerged as an independent prognostic marker for progression-free (HR:1.7;P=0.005) and overall survival (HR:2.1;P=0.006).
Longitudinal comparison of diagnostic vs minimal-residual-disease samples (n=40) unraveled that in 20% of patients, less-differentiated PCs subclones become enriched after therapy-induced pressure. We also revealed that CD81 expression is epigenetically regulated, that less-differentiated clonal PCs retain high expression of genes related to preceding B-cell stages (e.g.:PAX5), and show distinct mutation profile vs. fully-differentiated PC clones within individual patients.
Together, we shed new light into PC plasticity and demonstrated that MM patients harboring less-differentiated PCs have dismal survival, which might be related to higher chemoresistant potential plus different molecular and genomic profiles.
CITATION Leukemia. 2016 Aug 1. doi: 10.1038/leu.2016.211