Evidence for the Secretion of an Osteoclast Stimulating Factor in Myeloma

Gregory R. Mundy, Lawrence G. Raisz, Robert A. Cooper, Geraldine P. Schechter, Sydney E. Salmon

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516 Scopus citations


In an effort to describe the mechanism of bone erosion in patients with multiple myeloma, supernatant fluids from the short-term cultures of bone marrow aspirated from seven patients with myeloma were examined. Six contained a factor that stimulated osteoclastic bone resorption (calcium release greater than controls) in organ culture. This factor was biologically and chemically similar to osteoclast-activating factor, a mediator produced by phytohemagglutinin-activated normal peripheral blood leukocytes. Cultures of bone-marrow cells obtained from seven other patients with a variety of hematologic disorders did not produce a stimulator of bone resorption. Morphologic examination of autopsy and biopsy samples of bone from 37 patients with myeloma showed osteoclasts on bone-resorbing surfaces adjacent to areas of heavy myeloma-cell infiltration. It is suggested that osteolytic bone lesions and hypercalcemia in myeloma are due to the secretion of a soluble factor by myeloma cells that in turn stimulates osteoclastic activity in adjacent bone. N Engl J Med 291: 1041–1046, 1974), THE mechanism of bone resorption and hypercalcemia in myeloma is unknown. Bone resorption has been ascribed to a pressure effect of the neoplastic cells themselves,.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1041-1046
Number of pages6
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number20
StatePublished - Nov 14 1974
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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