, Volume 33, Issue 1–3, pp 71–81 | Cite as

Improvement of a method to reproducibly immortalize human T cells by oncogene transfection

  • Shahabuddin Alam
  • Yoshinori Katakura
  • Hiroshi Yoshida
  • Eun-Ho Kim
  • Sanetaka ShirahataEmail author


The method to immortalize human T cells efficiently and reproduciblyby oncogene transfection was improved. T cells were first grown selectively from peripheralblood lymphocytes population of healthy donors andatopic asthma patients, and from lymph nodelymphocytes population of lung cancer patients byactivating with mitogens (phytohemagglutinin andconcanavalin A) and recombinant human interleukin-2(rhIL-2) for five days. Plasmids expressingoncogenes, such as c-Ha-ras, c-myc,c-fos, v-myb and v-jun under the controlof human cytomegalovirus promoter, were then introducedinto these stimulated lymphocytes either separately orin various combinations by electropolation. Afterculturing these transfected lymphocytes for recoveryfor 1 day, they were fed every 3–4 days. Although all the control cells died within one month,oncogene-transfected lymphocytes continued toproliferate actively even for more than severalmonths, indicating that oncogene-transfectedlymphocytes were successfully immortalized. Flowcytometric analyses revealed that most of theimmortalized lymphocytes were T cells expressingCD3+ surface antigen. The ratios of CD4+and CD8+ subpopulations in immortalized T cellsderived from healthy donors varied, depending onthe kinds of oncogenes used. However, CD8+subpopulation in immortalized T cells derived fromcancer patients and atopic asthma patients weredominant, independent of the kinds of oncogenes. These immortalized T cells showed differentproliferative responses in the presence or absence ofexogenous human rhIL-2, depending on their origin ofdonors. Furthermore, immortalized T cells derivedfrom healthy donors showed stronger cytotoxicityagainst K562 cells, suggesting that MHC-nonrestrictedkiller T cells in T cell population were alsoimmortalized. Immortalized T cell lines, whichproliferate continuously without stimulation of amitogen or antigen in medium containing a lowconcentration of rhIL-2, have been maintained for morethan 2 years without any growth rate decrease.

human T cells immortalization oncogenes 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shahabuddin Alam
    • 1
  • Yoshinori Katakura
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Yoshida
    • 1
  • Eun-Ho Kim
    • 2
  • Sanetaka Shirahata
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Cellular Regulation Technology, Graduate School of Genetic Resources TechnologyKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Department of BiotechnologyKorea UniversityChung NamKorea
  3. 3.Laboratory of Cellular Regulation Technology, Graduate School of Genetic Resources TechnologyKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan

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