The highly malignant and metastatic RAW117-H10 cell line was developed by in vivo selection from the Abelson leukemia virus induced parental RAW117-P lymphoma. In this study we have characterized these cell lines with regard to their expression of lymphocyte and macrophage differentiation antigens, adherence, phagocytic properties, binding of various lectins, binding of antibodies to glycolipid asialo-monoganglioside, and the role of butanol extractable cell surface molecules to determine if any of these cell surface properties are associated with the malignant potential of RAW117-H10 cells. The only major difference in immunological phenotypes between RAW117-P and RAW117-H10 cells was an increased expression of Thy-1 molecules by the latter. However, the highly malignant RAW117-H10 cells bound significantly less concanavalin A, Ricinia communis agglutinin, succinylated wheat germ agglutinin, and particularly anti-asialomonoganglioside than their parental counterpart and were resistant to natural killer cell mediated cytolysis. Removal of butanol extractable cell surface molecules significantly decreased the malignancy of RAW117-H10 cells and increased their susceptibility to natural killer cell mediated cytolysis. The butanol treated RAW117-H10 cells regained high in vivo malignancy when recultured for 3 days to permit regeneration of their cell surface components. The butanol extracted RAW117-H10 cells still expressed high levels of Thy-1 indicating that this most probably represented “inappropriate” antigen expression. Since the expression of lymphocyte differentiation antigens did not correlate with the malignant behavior of the cells, we postulate that these antigenic differences merely represent phenotypic variation. The decreased malignant potential of the butanol treated RAW117-H10 cells did correlate with increased cell surface anti-asialomonoganglioside binding (glycolipid) and increased natural killer cell susceptibility.


This work was partly supported by Nebraska State Department of Health Grant LB 506 to S. S. J. and a Lake County Medical Center Development Agency grant to K. W. B.

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