OT-CLL: A human T cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia that produces IL 2 in high titer
This report identifies and describes a human T cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia, OT-CLL, which can be triggered by selected mitogens (either PHA or Con A) to produce IL 2 in high titer. Optimal IL 2 production requires culturing OT-CLL cells at 2 to 5 X 10(6)/ml for 24 hr in the presence of 1 to 2% PHA-M. Under these conditions, the titer of IL 2 generated is greater than 20-fold that obtained from conventional sources, e.g., from mitogen-activated tonsillar lymphocytes. Two lines of experimental evidence suggest that the tumor cell product(s) is IL 2. First, in functional assays, suprenatants derived from cultures of PHA-activated OT-CLL cells trigger the proliferation and long-term growth of IL 2-dependent human TCL cells. Second, a partial biochemical purification of the active moiety(ies) derived from OT-CLL demonstrates marked similarity to conventional human IL 2. Thus, the biologically active material(s) precipitates in 50 to 70% saturated (NH4)2 SO4 solutions; elutes from DEAE-Sepharose in the presence of 0.04-0.08 M NaCl; and has an apparent m.w. of approximately 14,000, as determined by Sephadex G-100 gel filtration. In addition, analysis of OT-CLL cells by indirect immunofluorescence, utilizing a panel of monoclonal antibodies, confirms not only that these tumor cells are of T cell lineage but that they display surface antigens that define the normal human peripheral T cell subset subserving helper or inducer function: OKT3+, OKT4+ , OKT8-.