The objectives of this study were foremost to further characterize pre-existing cell lines containing the t(11;14)(q13;q32) translocation. This translocation along with cyclin D1 overexpression is characteristic of Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL), an aggressive B cell neoplasm. Considerable variation in the abundance of cyclin D1 expression was observed. mRNA levels were examined by RT-PCR as differences in cyclin D1 mRNA abundance have been shown to synergize with INK4A/Arf deletions to dictate proliferation rate and survival in MCL patient samples. In this study, the cell lines, Z-138 and HBL-2, which exhibited the fastest growth rates and the shortest survival times in Rag2-M mice, had high expression of either one or both cyclin D1 mRNA isoforms and had negligible expression of p16. On the other hand, NCEB-1 and JVM-2 had low expression of both mRNA isoforms, retained p16 expression, and had slower growth rates and exhibited longer survival times in Rag2-M mice. Furthermore, JVM-2, which was found to have the lowest expression of cyclin D1, was the only cell line that expressed cyclin D2. The results of the characterization of Z-138, HBL-2, NCEB-1 and JVM-2 reveal that this group of cell lines represents both classic and variant features of MCL.