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Developmental Immunology
Volume 3 (1994), Issue 4, Pages 297-307

Lymphoid Tumors of Xenopus laevis with Different Capacities for Growth in Larvae and Adults

Basel Institute for Immunology, Postfach, Basel CH-4005, Switzerland

Received 25 August 1993; Accepted 15 November 1993

Copyright © 1994 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Three new lymphoid tumors offering an assortment of variants in terms of MHC class I expressions, MHC class II expression, and Ig gene transcription have been discovered in the amphibian Xenopus. One was developed in an individual of the isogenic LG15 clone (LG15/0), one in a frog of the LG15/40 clone (derived from a small egg recombinant of LG15), and one (ff-2) in a male ff sib of the individual in which MAR1, the first lymphoid tumor in Xenopus was found 2 years ago. These tumors developed primarily as thymus outgrowths and were transplantable in histocompatible tadpoles but not in nonhistocompatible hosts. Whereas LG15/0 and LG15/40 tumor cells also grow in adult LG15 frogs, the ff-2 tumor, like the MAR1 cell line, is rejected by adult ff animals. Using flow cytometry with fluorescence-labeled antibodies and immunoprecipitation analysis, we could demonstrate that, like MAR1, these three new tumors express on their cell surface lymphopoietic markers recognized by mAbs FIF6 and RC47, as well as T-cell lineage markers recognized by mAbs AM22 (CD8-1ike) and X21.2, but not by immunologobulin (Ig) nor MHC class II molecules. Another lymphocyte-specific marker AM15 is expressed by 15/0 and 15/40 but not ff-2 tumor cells. The ff-2 tumor cell expresses MHC class molecule in association with β2-microglobulin on the surface, 15/40 cells contain cytoplasmic I α chain that is barely detected at the cell surface by fluocytometry, and 15/0 cells do not synthesize class I α chain at all. The three new tumors all produce large amounts of IgM mRNA of two different sizes but no Ig protein on the membrane nor in the cytoplasm. All tumor cell types synthesize large amount of Myc mRNA and MHC class I-like transcripts considered to be non classical.