Immortalization of mouse intestinal epithelial cells by the SV40-large T gene. Phenotypic and immune characterization of the MODE-K cell line

J Immunol Methods. 1993 Nov 5;166(1):63-73. doi: 10.1016/0022-1759(93)90329-6.


Intestinal epithelial cells from the mouse small intestine were immortalized by SV40 large T gene transfer through a murine ecotropic virus. The resulting cell lines expressed the SV40 large T mRNA and exhibited morphological and phenotypic characteristics of normal enterocytes, including intercellular junctions, and expression of cytokeratin, villin, poly-Ig receptor (i.e., secretory component) and vasoactive intestinal peptide receptors. All expressed cell surface major histocompatibility complex class I molecules, but cell surface class II antigens were undetectable. Functional studies on antigen presentation were carried out using the MODE-K cell line established from the mouse duodenum. Interferon-gamma treatment of MODE-K cells resulted in a high level of class II molecule expression, and the ability to process and present native protein antigens to specific CD4+ T-cell hybridomas, via functional class II molecules. These data suggest that the MODE-K cell line is a suitable model for the analysis of intestinal epithelial cell function in mucosal immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • Antigens, Viral, Tumor / genetics
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Transformation, Viral*
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Epithelium / immunology
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Gene Expression
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / metabolism
  • Intestine, Small / cytology*
  • Intestine, Small / immunology
  • Intestine, Small / metabolism
  • Keratins / genetics
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Phenotype
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Receptors, Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide / metabolism
  • Simian virus 40 / genetics
  • Simian virus 40 / immunology


  • Antigens, Viral, Tumor
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide
  • Keratins