Functional characterization of human T cells immortalized by oncogene transfection

Shahabuddin Alam, Yoshinori Katakura, Hiroshi Yoshida, Eun Ho Kim, Sanetaka Shirahata

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3 Citations (Scopus)


We have succeeded in immortalizing human lymphocytes derived from the peripheral blood of a healthy donor and of an atopic patient, and from the lymph node of a cancer patient by oncogene transfection (Alam et al., 1996). All immortalized human lymphocytes were shown to be CD3+ and CD19-, indicating that these immortalized human lymphocytes were all T cells. We established 317, 154 and 692 individual immortalized human T cell lines derived from the healthy donor, the atopic patient and the cancer patient, respectively. The ratios of CD4+ and CD8+ subpopulations within the set containing immortalized T cells derived from the healthy donor were shown to be varied depending on the combinations of transfected oncogenes used. However, CD8+ cells were found to be the dominant subpopulation of immortalized T cells derived from the atopic patient and the cancer patient. These immortalized T cells showed different proliferative responses in the presence of exogenous human IL-2 depending on their origin, and was consistent with the surface expression of the IL-2 receptor. Furthermore, the cytokine secretion patterns of these immortalized T cells stimulated with mitogen were investigated. The results showed that the immortalized T cells from the healthy donor is able to secrete various kinds of cytokines such as IL-2, IL-10, γ-IFN and GM-CSF. However, immortalized T cells from the cancer patient was shown to only secrete IL-2 and GM-CSF. These results suggest that depending on the origin, the immortalized T cells came from different subsets or from cells in different activated states. Mixed lymphocytes reactions demonstrated that these immortalized T cells are able to proliferate in the presence of allogenic or xenogenic stimulator cells, suggesting that they maintain the ability to recognize specific antigens on the stimulator cells and can proliferate even after the immortalization. Furthermore, immortalized T cells derived from the healthy donor and the cancer patient strongly responded to K562 cells, suggesting that MHC-nonrestricted killer T cells were also immortalized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-192
Number of pages8
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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