The expression profiles of eight cell lines derived from T-cell malignancies were compared to CD4-positive T-cells using cDNA microarray technology. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of 4364 genes demonstrated substantial heterogeneity resulting in four distinct groups. While no genes were found to be uniformly up- or down-regulated across all cell lines, we observed 111 over-expressed genes (greater than two-fold) and 1118 down-regulated genes (greater than two-fold) in the lymphomas as a group when compared to CD4-positive T-cells. These included genes involved in cytokine signaling, cell adhesion, cytoskeletal elements, nuclear transcription factors, and known oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Quantitative fluorescent reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis demonstrated 70% concordance with the microarray results. While freshly isolated malignant cells may differ in their individual expression patterns relative to established cell lines from the same diagnoses, we feel that the variety of different lymphocytic cell lines that we examined provides a representative picture of the molecular pathogenesis of T-cell malignancies.