Because of the less than robust response to therapy and impact on choice of optimal chemotherapy and prognosis, chronic kidney disease has drawn attention in the treatment of multiple myeloma, a malignant hematologic disorder that can produce significant amounts of monoclonal immunoglobulin free light chains. These low molecular weight proteins are relatively freely filtered through the glomerulus and are reabsorbed by the proximal tubule. The present study demonstrated that during the process of metabolism of immunoglobulin free light chains, reactive oxygen species activated the Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 1 (STAT1) pathway in proximal tubule epithelium. STAT1 activation served as the seminal signaling molecule that produced the pro-inflammatory molecule, Interleukin-1β, as well as the pro-fibrotic agent, Transforming Growth Factor-β, by this portion of the nephron. These effects occurred in vivo and were produced specifically by the generation of hydrogen peroxide by the VL domain of the light chain. To the extent that the experiments reflect the human condition, these studies offered new insights into the pathogenesis of progressive kidney failure in the setting of lymphoproliferative disorders, such as multiple myeloma, that feature increased circulating levels of monoclonal immunoglobulin fragments that require metabolism by the kidney.
Wei-Zhong Ying, Xingsheng Li, Sunil Rangarajan, Wenguang Feng, Lisa M. Curtis, Paul W. Sanders