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Research Article

Epstein-Barr virus induces aggressive lymphoproliferative disorders of human B cell origin in SCID/hu chimeric mice.

M J Cannon, P Pisa, R I Fox and N R Cooper

Research Institute of Scripps Clinic, Department of Immunology, La Jolla, California 92037.

Published April 1990

C.B-17 scid mice were reconstituted by intraperitoneal injection of human tonsil cells or PBL from EBV-seronegative donors. Subsequent injection of EBV resulted in the rapid development (within 19-33 d) of aggressive, fatal, lymphoproliferative disorders of human B cell origin. Autopsies revealed solid tumors in the abdomen, and occasionally in the liver, thymus, or spleen. Histopathologic analysis showed that the tumors were high-grade immunoblastic lymphomas and FACS analyses of tumor cells indicated that they were of human B-lymphoid origin. The tumor cells grew in vitro and induced new tumors on injection into severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. Karyotypic analysis and Southern blots for c-myc or bcl-2 rearrangements revealed no chromosomal abnormalities and translocations. Southern blot analysis also showed that the cells possessed EBV DNA sequences. Although these tumors undoubtedly reflect infection of the transferred B cells with EBV in vivo, intraperitoneal transfer of short-term lymphoid cell lines transformed in vitro with EBV resulted in ascites production without evidence of tumor formation.

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