Characterization of lymphoma-derived cell lines: Comparison of cell lines positive and negative for Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen. I. Physical, cytogenetic, and growth characteristics

I. T. Magrath, P. A. Pizzo, J. Whang-Peng, E. C. Douglass, O. Alabaster, P. Gerber, C. B. Freeman, L. Novikovs

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Sixteen lymphoid cell lines were derived from patients with undifferentiated lymphoma of Burkitt's or non-Burkitt's type. They were obtained directly from tumor biopsies, from serous effusions, or from bone marrow. In 10 of the cell lines, the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) nuclear antigen (EBNA) was undetectable; the remaining 6 lines were EBNA-positive (EB-pos). Of the 16 lines, 15 were aneuploid, with detectable chromosome #14q+markers (11 had #8;14 translocations). These 15 lines, which included all of the EBNA-negative (EB-neg) lines, were believed to be of tumor cell origin. The remaining line consisted predominantly of diploid cells derived from normal lymphocytes, but some cells of tumor origin were present. Four EB-pos cell lines derived from EB-neg tumors had an aneuploid karyotype consistent with an origin from tumor cells (including #8;14 translocation in two), which suggested that either tumor cells were infected with EBV in vitro or a tiny fraction of EB-pos tumor cells (or potential tumor cells) present in vivo gave rise to the predominant cell of the line. EB-neg B-cell lines and EB-pos cell lines established from undifferentiated lymphomas differed greatly. EB-neg lines had consistently smaller electronic mean cell volumes and narrow-angle light scatter than did EB-pos lines. This finding correlated with a lower nuclear:cytoplasmic ratio in EB-pos lines. EB-neg lines also had higher saturation cell densities than did EB-pos lines under standard culture conditions. The data indicate either that EBV influence the morphologic and physiologic characteristics of lymphoid cell lines or that EB-neg B-cell lines and EB-pos cell lines are derived ultimately from different lymphocyte subpopulations or that both may apply.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-476
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2 1980
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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