Long-term culture of infant leukemia cells: Dependence upon stromal cells from the bone marrow and bilineage differentiation

Tehila Umiel, Sari Friedman, Rina Zaizov, Ian J. Cohen, Yehoshua Gozes, Nava Epstein, David Kobiler, Dov Zipori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Infant leukemia cells with 46XY,t (11; 17)(q23; p13) karyotype and a hybrid pre B myeloid phenotype (HLA-DR, (Ia), B4 and My7-positive and CALLA and T11-negative) and immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangement were maintained in long-term culture for over 10 months. The in-vitro survival and growth of the leukemia cells were strictly dependent upon the presence of their autologous marrow stromal cells. The latter could be replaced by the 14F1.1 clone of preadipocytes derived from mouse bone marrow. Neither heterologous human marrow or foreskin fibroblasts nor fibroblast or endothelial like cell lines from mouse stroma could mimic the effect of autologous stroma or 14F1.1 adipocytes. The leukemia cells maintained their original phenotype throughout the 10-month culture period with either their autologous stroma or the 14F1.1 adipocytes. They could be induced to differentiate in two distinct directions. Phorbol myristate acetate induced adherence of the leukemia cells and development of macrophage properties. In contrast, conditioned medium from a hybridoma producing B-cell growth factor caused aggregation of the leukemia cells and expression of CALLA antigen and surface IgM. This bipotency of the leukemia cells and their dependence upon marrow stroma are properties in common with stem cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1007-1013
Number of pages7
JournalLeukemia Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • Infant leukemia
  • bone marrow
  • differentiation
  • stroma


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