Establishment of a leukemic cell model for studying human pre-B to B cell differentiation

B. Wormann, J. M. Anderson, J. A. Liberty, K. Gajl-Peczalska, R. D. Brunning, T. L. Silberman, D. C. Arthur, Tucker W LeBien

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65 Scopus citations


Reproducible models for examining early stages of human B cell differentiation are poorly developed. We now describe the establishment and characterization of a novel human leukemic cell line that recapitulates the pre-B to B cell stage of differentiation. This cell line, designated BLIN-1, was initially established in tissue culture medium containing low m.w. B cell growth factor, and consistently shows a dependency on this cytokine for optimal growth at low density. BLIN-1 cells have a 9(p) chromosomal abnormality, identical to the abnormality present in the leukemic blasts from the patient's original bone marrow aspirate. The immunologic phenotype of BLIN-1 is consistent with a cell arrested at the pre-B cell stage of development. Analysis of Ig gene rearrangement and Ig expression in a series of BLIN-1 subclones show that the cells spontaneously rearrange κ light chain genes, leading to the differentiation of surface κ-negative pre-B cells into surface κ-positive B cells. The BLIN-1 cell line is, to our knowledge, the first defined human model for examining this critical developmental stage in human B cell ontogeny. As such, it offers a unique resource for examining variables influencing onset of κ L chain gene rearrangement and expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-117
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989


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