International Journal of Hematology

, Volume 110, Issue 3, pp 322–330 | Cite as

VS38 as a promising CD38 substitute antibody for flow cytometric detection of plasma cells in the daratumumab era

  • Shumpei MizutaEmail author
  • Takahito Kawata
  • Hiroshi Kawabata
  • Noriko Yamane
  • Saya Mononobe
  • Takao Komai
  • Yusuke Koba
  • Naoya Ukyo
  • Akira Tamekane
  • Mitsumasa Watanabe
Original Article


The development of effective therapies has enabled long-term survival for many patients with multiple myeloma (MM). However, the administration of antibody drugs, such as daratumumab, which bind to plasma cell (PC) surface proteins, may prevent PC detection by flow cytometry. We propose VS38 as an alternative antibody for CD38. VS38 recognizes cytoskeleton-linking membrane protein 63 (CLIMP-63) on the rough endoplasmic reticulum, and this protein may be expressed in secretory cells. We investigated VS38 staining in normal hematopoietic cells from five control samples, as well as PCs from 21 patients with plasma cell disorder (PCD). In normal hematopoietic cells, although VS38-stained monocytes, myeloid cells, and a subpopulation of B cells, PCs were significantly and brightly stained by VS38. There was no significant difference in VS38 staining between normal and abnormal PCs obtained from five patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance. Furthermore, PCs in 21 PCD cases were clearly identified by VS38 in all cases, in contrast to CD38, even in daratumumab-administered patients whose CD38 epitopes on PCs were masked. These results suggest that the use of the VS38 antibody in flow cytometry contributes to PC detection, independent of therapeutic treatment.


Multiple myeloma VS38 Daratumumab CD38 Flow cytometry 



We are grateful to Mr. Shinichiro Matsuki (AGMC) for his generous support of our work. We would like to thank Editage ( for English language editing.


This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12185_2019_2685_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2 mb)
Supplementary file1 (DOCX 2008 kb)


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Hematology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shumpei Mizuta
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Takahito Kawata
    • 3
    • 4
  • Hiroshi Kawabata
    • 1
  • Noriko Yamane
    • 1
  • Saya Mononobe
    • 1
  • Takao Komai
    • 1
  • Yusuke Koba
    • 3
  • Naoya Ukyo
    • 3
  • Akira Tamekane
    • 3
  • Mitsumasa Watanabe
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Clinical LaboratoryHyogo Prefectural Amagasaki General Medical CenterHyogoJapan
  2. 2.Laboratory of Hematology, Division of Medical BiophysicsKobe University Graduate School of Health SciencesHyogoJapan
  3. 3.Department of HematologyHyogo Prefectural Amagasaki General Medical CenterHyogoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Hematology and Oncology, Graduate School of MedicineKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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