Cell surface phenotyping and cytokine production of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs)

Joanne M. Wroblewski, Angela Copple, Lydia P. Batson, Cheri D. Landers, John R. Yannelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Epstein-Barr Virus-transformed B lymphoblastoid cell lines (EBV-LCLs) are routinely used for the in vitro expansion of T cells. However, these cell lines are reported to produce the cytokine IL-10, which is inhibitory for T cells. We, therefore, characterized a panel of 37 EBV-LCLs for a variety of cell surface markers, for secretion of various cytokines including IL-10 and for immunoglobulin production. These cell lines were derived from normal donors or patients with nonsmall cell lung cancer, acute myelogenous leukemia, melanoma or colon cancer. Overall, 26 lines were positive for CD19 and CD20, and 11 were negative for both. All of the lines were strongly HLA-DR+, while CD40 expression was variable. Twenty-four (65%) were both CD23+ and secreted immunoglobulin, and 33 expressed κ and/or λ light chains. Additionally, all of the EBV-LCLs were negative for T cell (CD3), NK cell (CD16, CD56), monocyte (CD14) and granulocyte (CD66b) surface markers. Some level of IL-10, IL-6, IL-12p40 and TNF-α cytokine production was detected in 33, 18, 19 and 12 EBV-LCLs, respectively. Together, these data reflect the heterogeneity of EBV-LCLs, which cautions their use nondiscriminately in various immunologic assays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-28
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunological Methods
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by NIH grant # RO1 CA76300 and by the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust, Lexington, KY. The authors thank Jamie Sturgill for her technical support.


  • Cytokine
  • EBV
  • Feeder cells
  • Immunotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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