A novel Hodgkin cell line, designated HD-MyZ, was established from the pleural effusion of a 29-yr-old patient with Hodgkin's disease (HD) of nodular sclerosing type. The majority of cells grow adherently and display typical morphological characteristics of Reed-Sternberg (RS) and Hodgkin (H) cells, i.e., large multi- and mononucleated cells with prominent nucleoli. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed a myelomonocytoid immunophenotype (expression of CD13 and CD68, and lack of lymphoid markers). HD-MyZ cells strongly expressed restin, a recently described intermediate filament-associated protein, the expression of which is restricted to H cells, RS cells, and in vitro cultivated peripheral blood monocytes. In addition mRNA expression of c-fms (colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor) could be induced in HD-MyZ cells by phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) stimulation. Southern blot analysis did not detect rearrangement of T cell receptor beta and immunoglobulin H loci, thus demonstrating the lack of lymphoid commitment. HD-MyZ cells were also devoid of Epstein-Barr virus genomes. HD-MyZ cells constitutively express mRNAs for interleukin 1 alpha (IL-1 alpha), IL-1 beta, IL-5, IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, IL-10, IL-1 receptor (type I), and IL-6 receptor. Stimulation of cells with PMA increased mRNA expression as well as the secretion of IL-1 beta, IL-6, and IL-8, and induced the de novo expression of IL-8 receptors. Xenotransplantation into severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice by intravenous or subcutaneous inoculation led to development of disseminated tumors with infiltrative and destructive growth. In addition lymphadenopathy, pleural effusion, and infiltration of spleen were observed. Morphological and immunological analysis of tumor cells revealed the same features as HD-MyZ cells. This cell line might be an important tool for understanding the pathogenesis and biology of HD. In addition the SCID mice model might prove helpful in developing new therapeutic strategies.