Sylvie Hermouet, Sophie Brouard, Sophie Allain-Maillet, Philippe Moreau, Hélène Perreault, Cédric Rossi, Eric Piver, Denis Caillot, Arnaud Nicot, Nicolas Mennesson, Adrien Bosseboeuf, Anne Tallet, François Girodon, Laurent Garderet, Jean Harb, Edith Bigot-Corbel
Multiple myeloma (MM) and its pre-cancerous stage monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) allow to study immune responses and the chronology of inflammation in the context of blood malignancies. Both diseases are characterized by the production of a monoclonal immunoglobulin (mc Ig) which for subsets of MGUS and MM patients targets pathogens known to cause latent infection, a major cause of inflammation. Inflammation may influence the structure of both polyclonal (pc) Ig and mc Ig produced by malignant plasma cells via the sialylation of Ig Fc fragment. Here, we characterized the sialylation of purified mc and pc IgGs from 148 MGUS and MM patients, in comparison to pc IgGs from 46 healthy volunteers. The inflammatory state of patients was assessed by the quantification in serum of 40 inflammation-linked cytokines, using Luminex technology. While pc IgGs from MGUS and MM patients showed heterogeneity in sialylation level, mc IgGs from both MGUS and MM patients exhibited a very low level of sialylation. Furthermore, mc IgGs from MM patients were less sialylated than mc IgGs from MGUS patients (p < 0.01), and mc IgGs found to target an infectious pathogen showed a lower level of sialylation than mc IgGs of undetermined specificity (p = 0.048). Regarding inflammation, 14 cytokines were similarly elevated with a p value < 0.0001 in MGUS and in MM compared to healthy controls. MM differed from MGUS by higher levels of HGF, IL-11, RANTES and SDF-1-α (p < 0.05). MGUS and MM patients presenting with hyposialylated pc IgGs had significantly higher levels of HGF, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, TGF-β1, IL-17, and IL-33 compared to patients with hyper-sialylated pc IgGs (p < 0.05). In MGUS and in MM, the degree of sialylation of mc and pc IgGs and the levels of four cytokines important for the anti-microbial response were correlated, either positively (IFN-α2, IL-13) or negatively (IL-17, IL-33). Thus in MGUS as in MM, hyposialylation of mc IgGs is concomitant with increased levels of cytokines that play a major role in inflammation and anti-microbial response, which implies that infection, inflammation, and abnormal immune response contribute to the pathogenesis of MGUS and MM.