Monolayer and suspension cell cultures prepared from Hodgkin's disease tumors in the spleen were examined microscopically and by cytogenetics, tested for lymphocyte and monocyte cell surface properties, and assayed for enzymes by histochemical and spectrophotometric techniques. Hodgkin's disease monolayer cultures were composed of rapidly proliferating round and polygonal cells that were capable of propagation in vitro for an indefinite period of time. Abnormal aneuploid chromosomes were found in short-term Hodgkin's disease monolayers that had been passaged 16-20 times, and in established cell lines carried in culture longer than 3 yr and passaged more than 200 times. Cells fromHodgkin's disease monolayers contained lysozyme (muramidase), fluoride-resistant alpha naphthol acetate esterase, acid and alkaline phosphatase, and chymotrypsin-like activity. The monolayers did not exhibit specific cell surface markers or phagocytosis. Suspension cultures derived from Hodgkin's disease monolayers were composed of cells with aneuploid karyotypes and similar enzymes. The Hodgkin's disease suspension culture cells had surface receptors for complement and IgGFc, lacked surface or cytoplasmic immunoglobulin, and did not form Erosettes, react with an antithymocyte serum, nor exhibit phagocytosis. Normal monolayer culture cells, derived from adult spleen and human fetal spleen and thymus, were composed of spindle cells with a diploid number of chromosomes that could be carried for only a finite period of time in vitro. Normal cultured cells contained similar esterases and phosphatases, but were devoid of lysozyme and chymotrypsin-like activity.
The morphologic, cytogenetic, cell surface, and enzymatic findings indicate that our Hodgkin's disease monolayer and suspension cultures are composed of cells with many properties suggesting an origin from monocytes (macrophages) rather than lymphocytes or fibroblasts. The presence of aneuploid karyotypes is consistent with a neoplastic origin and derivation from a malignant cell of Hodgkin's disease.