Background: small B-cell neoplasms can show plasmacytic differentiation and may potentially progress to aggressive lymphoma (DLBCL). Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection may cause the transformation of malignant cells in vitro.
Design and method: we established VR09 cell line with plasmacytic differentiation, obtained from a case of atypical, non-CLL B-cell chronic lymphoproliferative disease with plasmacytic features. We used flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, polymerase chain reaction, cytogenetic analysis and florescence in situ hybridization in the attempt at thoroughly characterizing the cell line. We showed VR09 tumorigenic potential in vivo, leading to the development of activated DLBCL with plasmacytic features.
Results: VR09 cells displayed plasmacytic appearance and grew as spherical tumors when inoculated subcutaneously into immunodeficient Rag2(-/-) γ-chain(-/-) mice. VR09 cell line and tumors displayed the phenotype of activated stage of B cell maturation, with secretory differentiation (CD19+ CD20+ CD79a+ CD79b+/- CD138+ cyclin D1- Ki67 80% IgM+ IgD+ MUM1+ MNDA+ CD10- CD22+ CD23+ CD43+ K+, λ- Bcl2+ Bcl6-) and they presented episomal EBV genome, chromosome 12 trisomy, lack of c-MYC rearrangement and Myd88 gene mutation, presence of somatic hypermutation in the VH region, and wild-type p53.
Conclusion: This new EBV-positive cell line may be useful to further characterize in vivo activated DLBCL with plasmacytic features.