CY15, a malignant histiocytic tumor that is phenotypically similar to immature dendritic cells


  • T. Kammertoens
  • R. Willebrand
  • B. Erdmann
  • L. Li
  • Y. Li
  • B. Engels
  • W. Uckert
  • T. Blankenstein


  • Cancer Research


  • Canc Res 65: 2560-2564


  • The origin and pathogenesis of histiocytic malignancies and the biology of the tumor cells are poorly understood. We have isolated a murine histiocytic tumor cell line (CY15) from a BALB/c IFNgamma(-/-) mouse and characterized it in terms of phenotype and function. The morphology, as judged by electron microscopy, and the surface marker phenotype suggests that CY15 cells are similar to immature dendritic cells (CD11c (low), MHC II (low), CD11b(+), B7.1(+), B7.2(+), and CD40(+)). The cells form tumors in BALB/c mice and metastasize to spleen, liver, lung, kidney, and to a lesser extend to lymph nodes and bone marrow, as judged by the growth of green fluorescent protein transfected tumor cells in mice. CY15 cells are capable of actively taking up antigen (FITC-ovalbumin) and can stimulate T lymphocytes in an allogenic mixed lymphocyte reaction but less effectively than their normal counterparts (immature dendritic cells). They respond to interleukin 4 (IL-4) with up-regulation of CD11c. If stimulated with IFNgamma the cells up-regulate MHC II, CD40 B7.1, and B7.2. Lipopolysaccharide induces the cells to up-regulate B7.1 and B7.2 and to secrete tumor necrosis factor alpha and IL-12. Based on these data, CY15 is a dendritic cell-like tumor cell line and may serve as a transplantable tumor model for histiocytosis in humans.