A continuous tissue culture cell line (Karpas line 120), derived from a patient with acute myeloblastic leukemia, not only demonstrates myeloblastic morphology and in vitro expression of several myeloid-specific biochemical markers but also contains Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) nuclear antigen. The present studies demonstrate EBV-genome-specific DNA within the total cellular DNA by molecular hybridization, thus establishing the presence of stable viral genome integration. The cells demonstrate complex coordinated myeloid functions including ingestion, degranulation, and respiratory burst activity. Line 120 cells show a respiratory burst (superoxide and hydrogen peroxide generation and hexosemonophosphate shunt activity) in response to soluble (phorbol myristate acetate) and particulate (latex beads) stimuli, as do normal granulocytes. They ingest complement-opsonized particles (lipopolysaccharide-oil droplets, zymosan, and bacteria), and degranulate in response to them. However, unlike normal granulocytes, the line 120 cells do not demonstrate respiratory burst activity in response to these complementopsonized particles. The dissociation between ingestion of complement-opsonized particles and activation of oxygen-dependent bactericidal activity severely impairs bacterial killing as compared with normal polymorphonuclear phagocytes.

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