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Leukemia. 1993 Oct;7(10):1621-9.

In vitro establishment of AIDS-related lymphoma cell lines: phenotypic characterization, oncogene and tumor suppressor gene lesions, and heterogeneity in Epstein-Barr virus infection.

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  • 1Division of Oncology, Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York.


Lymphoma represents a major source of morbidity and mortality among AIDS patients. AIDS-associated non-Hodgkin lymphomas (AIDS-NHL) are almost invariably B-cell derived, are classified as high or intermediate grade lymphomas, and display three main histologic types: namely, small non-cleaved cell lymphoma (SNCCL), large cell immunoblastic plasmacytoid lymphoma (LC-IBPL), and large cell lymphoma (LCL). Here we report the in vitro establishment of three new AIDS-NHL cell lines (termed HBL-1, HBL-2, and HBL-3) derived from three AIDS-SNCCL patients differing in primary tumor sites and risk factors for HIV infection. The derivation of the cell lines from the original tumor clones was established by immunophenotypic and molecular genetic analysis. These cell lines display clonal immunoglobulin gene rearrangement, express surface immunoglobulin and B-cell restricted markers, and exhibit a phenotype consistent with SNCCL. Monoclonal Epstein-Barr virus infection was found in only one of the cell lines (HBL-1). Cytogenetic analysis demonstrated the presence of a chromosomal translocation involving the c-myc proto-oncogene and an immunoglobulin locus in all three cell lines. The pattern of genetic lesions detected in HBL-1, HBL-2, and HBL-3 reflects that found in primary AIDS-SNCCL and includes activation of the c-myc oncogene as well as inactivation of the p53 tumor suppressor gene. These cell lines should prove useful in studies of the biological, immunological, and viral factors involved in AIDS-associated lymphomagenesis.

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