Animals injected with Abelson murine leukemia virus (A-MuLV) rapidly develop fatal bone marrow-derived lymphosarcomas. In all such diseased animals tested, a subpopulation of bone marrow cells expressed a monoclonal antibody-defined, B lineage transformation-associated antigen (6C3 Ag) at levels increased from that detected on normal lymphocytes. Cells bearing a high level of this antigen were found to be transformed as measured by clonal growth in agar, and they expressed surface antigen markers characteristic of early pre-B cells. High-level antigen-expressing cells were found in the bone marrow, lymph nodes, and spleen, but never in the thymus of diseased animals. This distribution agrees with the published pathology of Abelson disease.

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