Athymic mice infected with pinworms or carrying human tumor xenografts frequently develop a lymphoproliferative disorder which eventually leads to lymphoma. By immunofluorescent analysis of involved tissues, the lymphomas appear to be mixtures of null cells, B-cells, and T-cells. When each lymphoma is established in tissue culture, a predominant cell type grows out. We have now established lymphoma lines of null cells, B-cells, and T-cells. Lymphoma development is preceded by the secretion into the bloodstream of large amounts of murine leukemia virus M.W. 70,000 glycoprotein antigen; however, very little virus is produced. In vivo, the expression of viral envelope antigen appears within a few days after human tumor transplantation and precedes the development of lymphoma by about a month. Cells expressing viral antigens are first seen in the diffuse cortex of lymph nodes and the periarteriolar white sheath of the spleen, the tissue domains in which lymphomas also first appear.

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Supported by the Veterans Administration and by grants from the American Cancer Society (BC-60) and NIH (CA-11683).

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