Establishment of four new mesothelioma cell lines: Characterization by ultrastructural and immunophenotypic analysis

A. M. Orengo, L. Spoletini, A. Procopio, R. E. Favoni, A. De Cupis, A. Ardizzoni, B. Castagneto, M. Ribotta, P. G. Betta, S. Ferrini, L. Mutti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to assess the biological characteristics of four new malignant mesothelioma (MM) cell lines. Since simian virus (SV)40 sequences have been recently detected in MM, SV40 large T antigen (Tag) expression was also analysed. MM cell lines were characterized by morphological, ultrastructural and cytogenetic analysis. Expression of Tag and of relevant MM markers was studied by immunocytochemistry, surface antigens by indirect immunofluorescence and immunomodulating cytokines by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The four MM cell lines, established from pleural effusions, showed a slow proliferation rate and pleomorphic changes during culture. Cell lines expressed vimentin, cytokeratins 8 and 18, and the mesothelial antigen recognized by HBME-1 monoclonal antibody, but not carcinoembryonic antigen. Surface human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-class I and intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 molecules were present on all the cell lines. While HLA class II and CD86 were constitutively undetectable, HLA-class II was present after interferon (IFN)-γ stimulation. All cell lines displayed abnormal karyotypes with chromosome 6 abnormalities. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β2 and interleukin (IL)-6 were constitutively secreted, while tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α was secreted only in response to lipopolysaccharide. Intranuclear Tag was expressed in two cell lines. The persistence of large T antigen with human leukocyte antigen class I and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 positivity may point to large T antigen as a target for cytotoxic T- lymphocyte-based immunotherapy in some malignant mesothelioma patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-534
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Cell lines
  • Mesothelioma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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