Immortalization of cloned mouse splenic macrophages with a retrovirus containing the v-raf/mil and v-myc oncogenes

Cell Immunol. 1988 Oct 15;116(2):341-51. doi: 10.1016/0008-8749(88)90236-5.


The recombinant retrovirus J2, which contains the v-raf/mil and v-myc oncogenes, was used to immortalize mouse splenic macrophages that had been cloned in soft agar. When added to freshly harvested colonies, J2 failed to yield cell lines but it immortalized up to 30% of the clones if they had been maintained for at least 4 months in medium containing colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF-1). All of the cell lines grew in agar in a CSF-1-independent manner, and they produced tumors in nude and syngeneic mice. The cell lines were judged to be macrophage based on morphological criteria and because they secreted lysozyme, were phagocytic for antibody-coated particles, and expressed both the Mac-1 antigen and the CSF-1 receptor. The cell lines could be divided into three groups based on their expression of Ia and their ability to present an antigen to a T-cell hybridoma. The majority of the lines did not constitutively express Ia or present antigen, but a lymphokine did induce Ia in all of the lines, with most of them also acquiring antigen-presenting activity. However, a small proportion of lymphokine-treated lines continued to lack antigen-presenting activity despite their ability to express Ia. The third and smallest group of cell lines constitutively expressed both Ia and antigen-presenting activity. These results show that the J2 recombinant retrovirus is a useful means of immortalizing functionally distinct populations of cloned splenic macrophages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Differentiation / biosynthesis
  • Antigens, Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Transformation, Viral*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Genetic Vectors*
  • Hemocyanins / biosynthesis
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / biosynthesis
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen
  • Macrophages / microbiology
  • Macrophages / physiopathology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Oncogenes*
  • Phenotype
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • RNA
  • Receptor, Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Retroviridae / genetics*
  • Spleen / cytology


  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • RNA, recombinant
  • RNA
  • Hemocyanins
  • Receptor, Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • keyhole-limpet hemocyanin