Eight permanent cell lines were established from cells of 50 consecutive patients with childhood acute leukemia. Three cell lines required growth factor-containing conditioned media. Analysis using blocking antisera and recombinant granulocytic macrophage (GM) colony- stimulating factor (CSF) identified GM-CSF as a growth factor required to establish the latter three cell lines and necessary for their continuous proliferation in chemically defined medium. Two of the GM- CSF-dependent cell lines were derived from patients with undifferentiated T- and a biphenotypic B-myelomonocytic leukemia, which suggests that GM-CSF might maintain proliferation of leukemias originating from immature progenitor cells. Cytogenetic analysis indicated that all established leukemic cell lines were aneuploid, with six lines containing chromosomal alterations related to those observed in the leukemic cells of the patient. Two patients did not have an abnormal clone identified in the marrow but did yield an aneuploid cell line. These studies indicate that GM-CSF-dependent leukemic cell lines can be established in a fraction of childhood leukemia. These cell lines lend themselves to studies aimed at the evaluation in vitro of the role of growth factors in controlling proliferation and differentiation of leukemic cells.

This content is only available as a PDF.