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Bone marrow - nonneoplastic


Plasma cells

Reviewers: Dragos Luca, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 28 September 2012, last major update September 2012
Copyright: (c) 2001-2012, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Usually less than 1% of marrow cells; rare in infants
● Often perivascular and in particle crush specimens
● Indeterminate lifespan, ranging from days to months
● Produces and secretes antibodies
Plasmablast: precursor to plasma cell, produces more antibodies than B cells, but less than mature plasma cells
Plasma cells: the last stage of B cell maturation, express CD38 but lose CD19
● Differentiation of mature B cells into plasma cells is dependent upon the transcription factors Blimp1/PRDM1 and IRF4
● Unlike their precursors, plasma cells cannot act as antigen-presenting cells because they no longer display MHC-II; they do not take up antigen because they no longer display significant quantities of immunoglobulin on the cell surface
● Plasma cells they cannot switch antibody classes and can only produce a single kind of antibody in a single class of immunoglobulin

Micro description

● Ovoid cells with abundant deep blue cytoplasm and perinuclear hof, eccentric nucleus with coarse chromatin and clock-face (artwheel) pattern
● May have occasional binucleated cells; no nucleoli

Micro images

Plasma cells

Left: binucleated plasma cell; right: Mott cell (with vacuoles)

Left: mature and immature plasma cells; right: perivascular plasma cells

Plasma cells in myeloma

Positive stains

● CD38, cIg and CD138; variable CD79a and CD45
● Also CD9, CD27, CD28, CD30 (some), CD31, CD32 (some), CD43, CD79b, hc2, MNDA and PCA-1

Negative stains

● CD19, CD20, CD21, CD22, CD24, CD37, CD40, CD56 (positive in myeloma, Am J Pathol 2002;160:1293) and CD72 (Am J Hematol 1992;41:151)

Electron microscopy description

● Prominent Golgi zone and rough endoplasmic reticulum

Electron microscopy images

Plasma cell without labels

Plasma cell with labels

Additional references

Immunobiology online textbook, Wikipedia

End of Bone Marrow - nonneoplastic > Normal > Plasma cells

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