CD99(MIC2) is a widely expressed cell surface glycoprotein and functions as a tumor suppressor involved in downregulation of SRC family of tyrosine kinase. CD99 expression is tightly regulated through B-cell development. The principal aims of this study were to investigate the clinical utility of CD99 expression (i) in distinguishing normal plasma cells from primary plasma cell neoplasms; (ii) in detection of minimal residual disease in primary plasma cell neoplasms; and (iii) in distinguishing plasma cell component of B-cell lymphomas from primary plasma cell neoplasms. We analyzed expression of CD99 by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry in lymph nodes, peripheral blood, and bone marrow samples. CD99 showed stage-specific expression with highest expression seen in precursor B and plasma cells. In contrast to the uniform bright expression on normal plasma cells, CD99 expression on neoplastic plasma cells was lost in 39 out of 56 (69.6%) cases. Furthermore, 8 out of 56 samples (14%) showed visibly (>10-fold) reduced CD99 expression. Overall, CD99 expression was informative (absent or visibly dimmer than normal) in 84% of primary plasma cell neoplasm. In the context of minimal residual disease detection, CD99 showed superior utility in separating normal and abnormal plasma cells over currently established antigens CD117, CD81, and CD27 by principal component analysis. Preservation of CD99 expression was strongly associated with cyclin D1 translocation in myeloma (p < 0.05). B-cell lymphomas with plasma cell component could be distinguished from myeloma by CD99 expression. In summary, we established that tumor suppressor CD99 is markedly downregulated in multiple myeloma. The loss is highly specific for identification of abnormal cells in primary plasma cell neoplasms, and can be exploited for diagnostic purposes. The role of CD99 in myeloma pathogenesis requires further investigation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine