BMC Research Notes (Jun 2022)

Utility of CD138/syndecan-1 immunohistochemistry for localization of plasmacytes is tissue-dependent in B6 mice

  • David K. Meyerholz,
  • Mariah R. Leidinger,
  • J. Adam Goeken,
  • Thomas R. Businga,
  • Allison Akers,
  • Sebastian Vizuett,
  • Courtney A. Kaemmer,
  • Jordan L. Kohlmeyer,
  • Rebecca D. Dodd,
  • Dawn E. Quelle

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 15, no. 1
pp. 1 – 7


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Abstract Objective Inflammation is present in many diseases and identification of immune cell infiltration is a common assessment. CD138 (syndecan-1) is a recommended immunohistochemical marker for human plasmacytes although it is also expressed in various epithelia and tumors. Similarly, CD138 is a marker for murine plasmacytes, but its tissue immunostaining is not well-defined. Endogenous CD138 expression is an important confounding factor when evaluating plasmacyte infiltration. We studied two plasmacyte markers (CD138 and Kappa light chains) for endogenous immunostaining in five organs and one tumor from B6 mice. Results Plasmacytes in Peyer’s patches were positive for CD138 and Kappa markers without endogenous immunostaining. Endogenous CD138 immunostaining was widespread in liver, kidney, lung and a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST) versus regionalized immunostaining in skin and small intestine wall. Endogenous Kappa immunostaining was absent in all tissues except for plasmacytes. Tissues with widespread endogenous CD138 immunostaining were contrasted by absence of endogenous Kappa immunostaining. Here, plasmacytes would not be distinguished by CD138, but would be obvious by Kappa immunostaining. Our study suggests that utility of immunostaining for plasmacytes by CD138 is tissue dependent in mice. Additionally, Kappa immunostaining may be a useful alternative in mouse tissues with confounding endogenous CD138 immunostaining.