L82, a novel anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) cell line was established from the pleural effusion of a 24-year-old patient with recurrent ALCL. L82 cells showed the typical morphologic features of ALCL cells with irregular, often indented, nuclear profiles, prominent nucleoli, and abundant cytoplasm. The immunoprofile of L82 corresponds to that seen typically in primary ALCL cells, with positivity for CD30, EMA, CD3, CD4, CD25, CD71, TIA1, and granzyme B; the cells were negative for EBV-related antigens. Cytogenetic analysis showed a complex, near triploid karyotype with 72-77 chromosomes, including the ALCL specific translocation t(2;5)(p23;q35). Chromosomal analysis revealed a number of secondary structural alterations including amplification of 7q21-31, 1q, and 6p, and gain of chromosomal material in 8q (affecting the c-myc gene). The rearrangement of the T-cell receptor-gamma locus shows that L82 is clonally derived from T-lineage lymphoid cells. mRNAs for interleukin 7 (IL-7), IL-8, IL-9, IL-10, TNF-beta, and for the IL-7 and IL-9 receptor were found. These data show that the T-helper cell (Th)1/Th2 balance was polarized to Th2. L82 were inoculated intraperitoneally into 4 week-old SCID mice and produced a disseminated tumor within 4-6 weeks. Morphological, immunohistochemical, and molecular genetic investigation confirmed that the xenograft and the original ALCL tumor were identical. SCID mice xenografted with the human ALCL cell line, L82, provide a useful model system for the investigation of the biology of ALCL and of new therapeutic approaches, such as specific immunotherapy.