Evolution of clonality and invasive behavior of Epstein-Barr virus immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines in SCID mice brains

R. Bashir, A. Masih, K. Kallweit, R. Fordyce-Boyer, W. Sanger, D. Purtilo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Recently established Epstein-Barr virus immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines express polyclonal immunoglobulins, are diploid, and grow into invasive tumors when injected intracerebrally into mice with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). It is unclear whether clonal selection of neurotropic cell lines occurs during long-term growth in the brain and the effect of this selection on brain invasiveness. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Epstein-Barr immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines from a normal Epstein-Barr negative donor were serially passaged seven times intracerebrally within groups of SCID/SCID CB 17 mice. Each cell line was injected into five or more animals during each passage. Clonality of the rescued cell lines, genotype, and brain invasiveness were examined. RESULTS: All mice developed extensive intracerebral lymphoproliferative disease within 10-18 days after injection. Intracerebral, subarachnoid, intraventricular, and perivascular lymphoid lesions were noted. Infiltrates were similar in all animals studied regardless of the passage number. Clonal B cell populations were detectable in lesions after the first passage by Southern blot hybridization using J(H) probe. Immunohistochemically, polyclonal tumors were seen initially, but after the fourth passage, monoclonal cytoplasmic immunoglobulin was predominantly expressed by all tumors. Minor bands seen in the early passages disappeared subsequently. Random chromosomal abnormalities appeared in the rescued cell lines after the third passage; however, after the sixth passage, the abnormalities became more consistent. Clonability in agarose was very low initially in both cell lines and increased significantly after the sixth passage. CONCLUSIONS: These experiments demonstrate that within the immunoprivileged conditions of the SCID mouse brain, the evolution of Epstein-Barr immortalized lymphocytes from polyclonal to oligo- and monoclonal cell lines with chromosomal abnormalities occurs very early. This evolution is not paralleled by increased invasiveness in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-460
Number of pages11
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992


  • Immunoglobulin gene rearrangement
  • Lymphoproliferative disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Evolution of clonality and invasive behavior of Epstein-Barr virus immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines in SCID mice brains'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this