Growth of cultured cells from patients with Hodgkin's disease and transplantation into nude mice

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1977 Feb;74(2):754-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.74.2.754.


Long-term monolayer cell cultures have been prepared from tumor nodules in spleens removed from 28 patients with Hodgkin's disease and from 84 spleens that did not have tumors from Hodgkin's disease patients, normal adult spleens, and human fetal spleens and thymuses. After 5 to 20 serial passages in culture, cells from nine of the Hodgkin's disease monolayers underwent morphologic change in vitro with transition from a spindle and reticular pattern of replication to polygonal and round cells that propagated in mosaic arrays. Four of such Hodgkin's disease monolayer cell lines were injected subcutaneously into 43 nude, athymic mice. In 36 animals (84%), neoplasms developed at the inoculation site that werel ocally destructive, capable of pulmonary metastasis, and eventually fatal to the recipients. Transplanted tumors were not observed in 18 athymic mice injected with cultures prepared from normal human adult spleen and fetal spleen and thymus, nor were tumors seen in 16 similar animals that received fresh, noncultured Hodgkin's disease tumor tissue. On microscopic examination, xenografts derived from Hodgkin's disease cultures were pleomorphic malignant neoplasms composed of large, undifferentiated cells, resembling reticulum cell sarcoma. These neoplasms did not involve the lymphoreticular organs of mice. Chromosome studies indicated that the transplanted neoplasms were composed of human cells with an aneuploid karyotype and that monolayer cultures prepared from the heterotransplants contained a karyotype similar to that of the cultured cells prior to passage in mice. The ability of these Hodgkin's disease cell lines to produce invasive tumors with human karyotypes in nude mice is evidence of the neoplastic nature of the monolayer cells and their relationship to the malignant cell of the human disorder.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Hodgkin Disease / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Karyotyping
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Neoplasm Transplantation*
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Spleen / transplantation*
  • Transplantation, Heterologous