Multiple lymphoblastoid cell lines have been derived from two patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia with an associated monoclonal immunoglobulin (Ig) band. Idiotypic antisera raised against the monoclonal serum Ig bands were shown to be specific for the membrane Ig of the patients' leukemic cells. The idiotypic determinants in these patients thereby constitute tumor-specific antigens. Surface and intracellular immunofluorescence studies utilizing these idiotypic antisera were used to identify the cell lines of leukemic origin. These studies showed that certain cell lines from each patient were derived from the leukemic cells while other cell lines were derived from residual normal B lymphocytes. The leukemic cell lines were variable and contained different percentages of lymphoid cells with the idiotype-specific membrane Ig and, in addition, different percentages of plasma cells with intracellular Ig of the same specificity. Specific Ig synthesis was also demonstrated by hemagglutination-inhibition analysis of cell line supernatants. Aside from Ig specificity, no differences have been found between the leukemic cell lines and those derived from normal cells. One of the leukemic cell lines was cloned in soft agarose. All the clones were shown to be of leukemic origin.
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