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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1983 Oct;80(19):6061-5.

Establishment and characterization of 10 cell lines derived from patients with adult T-cell leukemia.


By using human T-cell growth factor (TCGF), 10 cell lines were established from tissue samples of 10 patients with adult T-cell leukemia (ATL). Three cell lines were adapted to growth in medium lacking TCGF. The surface markers of all cell lines were characteristic of inducer/helper T cells, i.e., OKT3+, OKT4+, OKT6-, OKT8-, OKIa1+, and human Lyt2+ and Lyt3+, except that one cell line was OKT3-. The expression of the viral antigen was examined during establishment of 8 of the 10 cell lines. The viral antigen was not expressed in leukemic cells before cultivation. In 5 lines, the viral antigen was detected by immunofluorescent staining after a short period of cultivation. However, 3 cell lines, ATL-6A, ATL-9Y, and ATL-1K did not express the viral antigen during short-term culture: the ATL-6A and ATL-9Y cell lines became positive for the viral antigen after 5 and 2 months of cultivation, respectively; the ATL-1K cell line remained antigen-negative throughout a culture period of 13 months. Southern blot hybridization assay showed that all of the cell lines, including the viral antigen-negative ATL-1K cell line, contained the viral genome. Thus, the retrovirus was associated with all 10 cell lines established from ATL patients, but there was a heterogeneity in the expression time of the retroviral antigen in leukemic cells maintained in vitro. Our findings suggested that the expression of the viral antigen was not required for maintenance of the leukemic state in vivo and for growth of leukemic cells in vitro.

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