noun, plural: gammopathies

A disorder of the immune system affecting the synthesis of immunoglobulins, e.g. gamma globulins


Gammopathy refers to the disorder or disease of the immune system characterized by a disturbance in the synthesis of gamma globulins and other related immunoglobulins.

Gamma globulins are a class of globulins. Globulins belong to a family of globular proteins. In human blood, the normal concentration of globulins is about 2.6 to 4.6 g/dL. Using serum protein electrophoresis, globulins may be identified into the following groups: alpha 1 and alpha 2 globulins, beta globulins, and gamma globulins. The gamma globulins include the immunoglobulins subclass, antibodies.

Gammopathy is a disorder or disease resulting in the abnormal proliferation of cells producing immunoglobulins. Thus, there is an abnormal increase in the levels of immunoglobulins in the blood. Examples of gammopathies are biclonal gammopathy, which is a gammopathy characterized by a serum containing two distinct monoclonal immunoglobulins. Another is monoclonal gammopathy, which is due to the proliferation of a single clone of lymphoid or plasma cells and the presence of monoclonal immunoglobulin in serum or urine. Polyclonal gammopathy is a gammopathy wherein there is a heterogenous increase in immunoglobulins, i.e. more than one cell line is involved and caused by any of a variety of inflammatory, infectious, or neoplastic disorders.

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