A comparative chromosomal analysis was made of 10 human lymphoblastoid cell lines, four of which originated from normal donor lymphocytes and six of which were from leukemic peripheral blood. For comparison of lymphoblastoid cells with respect to their normal or leukemic origin, cytogenetic studies have been carried out regularly since the beginning of the culture during more than 3 years. Samples were drawn during the three phases previously described for the establishment of these lines. The chromosome distribution remained diploid for at least 2 years in normal cell lines, and the cells were euploid. In contrast, an important variability of the chromosome set was demonstrated during the same period in leukemic cell lines. Moreover, in these lines, it was always possible to observe a nonsystemic pseudodiploidy. After 2 years, a clonal evolution was described in both types of cell lines that carried at least one marker. With a controlled-heating denaturation technique, it was possible to identify the markers as specific to each cell line. The cells with marker chromosomes appeared to have a selective advantage of growth.
Supported in part by Grant ATP, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale Grants 2.73.23 and 74.5.421.36, and Délégation Générale de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique Grant 7.47.0626.