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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Negative regulation of erythroblast maturation by Fas-L(+)/TRAIL(+) highly malignant plasma cells: a major pathogenetic mechanism of anemia in multiple myeloma.

Multiple myeloma (MM) is associated with severe normochromic/normocytic anemia. This study demonstrates that the abnormal up-regulation of apoptogenic receptors, including both Fas ligand ( L) and tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), by highly malignant myeloma cells is involved in the pathogenesis of the ineffective erythropoiesis and chronic exhaustion of the erythroid matrix. By measuring Fas-L and TRAIL in plasma cells and the content of glycophorin A (GpA) in erythroblasts from a cohort of 28 untreated, newly diagnosed patients with MM and 7 with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), selected in relation to their peripheral hemoglobin values, results showed that both receptors occurred at high levels in 15 severely anemic MM patients. Their marrow erythropoietic component was low and included predominantly immature GpA(+dim) erythroblasts, in contrast with the higher relative numbers of mature GpA(+bright) erythroid cells observed in the nonanemic patients and those with MGUS. In cocultures with autologous Fas-L(+)/TRAIL(+) myeloma cells, the expanded GpA(+dim) erythroid population underwent prompt apoptosis after direct exposure to malignant plasma cells, whereas erythroblasts from nonanemic patients were scarcely affected. The evidence that Fas-L(+)/TRAIL(+) malignant plasma cells prime erythroblast apoptosis by direct cytotoxicity was also supported by the increase of FLICE in fresh immature GpA(+dim) erythroid cells, whereas ICE and caspase-10 increased in subsequent maturative forms. In addition, GATA-1, a survival factor for erythroid precursors, was remarkably down-regulated in fresh erythroblasts from the severely anemic patients. These results indicate that progressive destruction of the erythroid matrix in aggressive MM is due to cytotoxic mechanisms based on the up-regulation in myeloma cells of Fas-L, TRAIL, or both. It is conceivable that the altered regulation of these receptors defines a peculiar cytotoxic phenotype that drives the progression of aggressive MM.[1]


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