Retroviral immortalization of phagocytic and dendritic cell clones as a tool to investigate functional heterogeneity

M. B. Lutz, F. Granucci, C. Winzler, G. Marconi, P. Paglia, M. Foti, C. U. Aßmann, L. Cairns, M. Rescigno, P. Ricciardi-Castagnoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have developed a method to generate immortalized phagocytic and dendritic cell from various mouse tissues such as spleen, thymus, brain and bone marrow. The clones were phenotypically characterized and shown to retain the ability to respond to immune or inflammatory signals, e.g., IFN-γ. Functional cytokine activity and nitric oxide production were maintained in activated macrophages, microglial and dendritic cell clones. Immune functions, such as antigen presentation was exhibited by all clones whereas tissue-specific properties such as the ability to respond to corticotropin-releasing hormone and produce β-endorphin was shown in microglial cell clones but not in macrophage cell clones, indicating that heterogeneity of cells of the mononuclear-phagocytic lineage can be maintained in vitro after the immortalization procedure. Moreover, the continuous proliferation of the clones could be inhibited by various stimuli and further differentiation of the cells could be achieved in vitro.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-279
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immunological Methods
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 14 1994


  • Dendritic cell
  • Microglia
  • Mononuclear phagocyte
  • Mouse macrophage
  • Retroviral immortalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Immunology


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