Murine plasmacytomas can be adapted to continuous in vitro culture by alternate passage between culture and animal. We have found that the kinetics of adaptation reflect a selection for the growth of variant plasmacytoma cells. The inclusion of an altered immunoglobulin phenotype in such variant cells could explain the Ig-producing variants that we observed in two of six transplantable lines of plasmacytomas that were adapted to culture. The first variant, an IgM-producing cell line (104-76), was adapted from a transplanted line of MOPC 104E that had stopped producing IgM with binding specificity for alpha1-3 Dextran. Unlike MOPC 104E, the IgM of 104-76 contains kappa- instead of lambda-light chains and probably contains an altered or different mu-heavy chain. A second variant (352-57) was found in an IgG2b-producing tumor (MOPC 352) which was induced in a BALB/c mouse strain (CB-6) that carried Ig genes of the C57BL/Ka allotype. This cell line apparently switched from producing IgG2b molecules of the C57BL allotype (H9) and of a known idiotype to IgG1 molecules of the BALB/c allotype (F19) without the idiotype marker. The propagation of a biclonal plasmacytoma from the time of original tumor induction does not appear as a likely explanation for these results. Rather, we seem to be dealing with plasmacytoma variants or with the possible induction of secondary tumors of host origin.

This content is only available as a PDF.