We established an interleukin 2 (IL-2)-dependent human T cell line, Kit 225, from a patient with T cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (T-CLL) with OKT3+, -T4+, -T8- phenotype. Southern blot analysis showed that Kit 225 is not infected with human T cell leukemia/lymphoma virus (HTLV) type I or II, and is probably derived from the major clone in the fresh leukemic cells. Kit 225 cells express a large amount of IL 2 receptors constitutively and their growth is absolutely dependent on IL 2. No other stimuli, such as lectins or antigens, are required for maintaining the responsiveness to IL 2. As abnormal IL 2 receptor expression was also seen originally in the fresh leukemic cells, the establishment of this cell line with IL 2 suggests that IL 2-mediated T cell proliferation is involved in the leukemogenesis of some cases of HTLV-negative T-CLL.

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