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J Immunol Methods. 2002 Jun 1;264(1-2):19-28.

Cell surface phenotyping and cytokine production of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs).

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Division of Hematology and Oncology, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, USA.


Epstein-Barr Virus-transformed B lymphoblastoid cell lines (EBV-LCLs) are routinely used for the in vitro expansion of T cells. However, these cell lines are reported to produce the cytokine IL-10, which is inhibitory for T cells. We, therefore, characterized a panel of 37 EBV-LCLs for a variety of cell surface markers, for secretion of various cytokines including IL-10 and for immunoglobulin production. These cell lines were derived from normal donors or patients with nonsmall cell lung cancer, acute myelogenous leukemia, melanoma or colon cancer. Overall, 26 lines were positive for CD19 and CD20, and 11 were negative for both. All of the lines were strongly HLA-DR+, while CD40 expression was variable. Twenty-four (65%) were both CD23+ and secreted immunoglobulin, and 33 expressed kappa and/or lambda light chains. Additionally, all of the EBV-LCLs were negative for T cell (CD3), NK cell (CD16, CD56), monocyte (CD14) and granulocyte (CD66b) surface markers. Some level of IL-10, IL-6, IL-12p40 and TNF-alpha cytokine production was detected in 33, 18, 19 and 12 EBV-LCLs, respectively. Together, these data reflect the heterogeneity of EBV-LCLs, which cautions their use nondiscriminately in various immunologic assays.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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