AA-amyloid has been produced experimentally in animal models, allowing the study of mechanisms involved in AA-amyloidogenesis, but those involved in renal AL-amyloidogenesis have not been adequately investigated due, in part, to lack of appropriate in vitro models. Rat and human mesangial cells were grown on a human extracellular matrix (Amgel) derived from normal tissues and on coverstips in the presence of 10 μl of amyloid enhancing factor (AEF) per milliliter of media and 10 μg/ml monoclonal λ light chains (LCs) obtained from two patients with AL-amyloidosis. Two additional λ LCs derived from the urine of patients with myeloma and tubulointerstitial renal disease were used as controls. To verify amyloid deposition, light and electron microscopic examination, as well as Congo red and thioflavin T staining, were performed on samples incubated under different experimental conditions. Intracellular and extracellular amyloid was identified in samples incubated for 24 hours with human mesangial cells (for 48 hours with rat mesangial cells), amyloidogenic monoclonal LCs, and AEF. The amount of amyloid detected, which increased with longer incubation times, was found to be most abundant at 14 days. Amyloid was not present in cultures of mesangial cells incubated with amyloidogenic LCs alone or in the absence of mesangial cells. Likewise, incubation of mesangial cells with amyloidogenic LC or AEF separately or amyloidogenic LC in the presence of AEF but without mesangial cells did not result in amyloid formation. Amyloid was not seen when LCs obtained from the urine of patients with tubulointerstitial renal disease were incubated with AEF and mesangial cells. AL-amyloid production requires all three components- mesangial cells, amyloidogenic LCs, and AEF. In addition, amyloid was detected intracellularly in mesangial cells, supporting the hypothesis that the production of AL-amyloid in the kidney requires intracellular processing by these cells. This system provides a unique experimental model to study renal AL-amyloidogenesis and a platform to explore mesangial cell-matrix interactions.