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Blood. 1998 Aug 15;92(4):1374-83.

Characterization of a novel human natural killer-cell line (NK-YS) established from natural killer cell lymphoma/leukemia associated with Epstein-Barr virus infection.

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Second Department of Internal Medicine, Okayama University Medical School, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Okayama, Japan.


A novel cell line was established from a patient with a leukemic-state nasal angiocentric natural killer (NK) cell lymphoma with systemic skin infiltration. The morphology of the leukemic cells was large-granular-lymphocyte (LGL), and their immunophenotype was CD2+, CD3-, CD5+, CD7+, CD16-, CD56+, and CD57-. The presence of Epstein-Barr viral (EBV) genome was shown in specimens from the patient's nose, skin, and peripheral blood by in situ hybridization using an EBV-encoded small RNA-1 probe or by Southern blotting using a terminal-repeat probe of the EBV genome. Leukemic cells were cocultured with a mouse stromal cell line (SPY3-2) in the presence of 100 U/mL recombinant human interleukin-2 and a novel stromal cell-independent cell line, NK-YS, was established. The NK-YS cells showed LGL morphology and expressed surface CD2, CD5, CD7, CD25, CD56, and CD95. The NK-YS cells retained cytotoxicity against K562 and Jurkat cells. A Southern blotting using a terminal-repeat probe of EBV showed that NK-YS and fresh leukemic cells had a clonal EBV genome, whereas the T-cell receptor beta and gamma chain genes of NK-YS were not rearranged. In an immunocytochemical analysis, the NK-YS cells showed a type-II latent infection of EBV. The NK-YS cells preserved the original characteristics of NK cell lymphoma/leukemia and will be a useful tool for the study of biological characteristics of EBV-associated nasal angiocentric NK cell lymphoma/leukemia.

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