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Cultured human endothelial cells expressing HIV-1 Vpu and Tat support the expansion of malignant B cells from primary central nervous system lymphoma
  1. J R Smith1,2,
  2. W W Henderson3,
  3. J T Rosenbaum1,2,4,
  4. E A Neuwelt5,
  5. A V Moses6
  1. 1
    Casey Eye Institute
  2. 2
    Departments of Cell & Developmental Biology
  3. 3
    Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
    Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA
  1. J R Smith, Biomedical Research Building, Mail Code: L467AD, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA; smithjus{at}

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Intraocular lymphoma is an aggressive non-Hodgkin B cell lymphoma involving the posterior eye. Basic research on this tumour has been hindered by an inability to expand the malignant B cell population. We developed a cell culture system, in which endothelial cell monolayers were infected with adenoviral vectors encoding HIV-1 proteins, Vpu and Tat. These monolayers permitted adhesion and proliferation of CD20-positive B cells from specimens of cerebrospinal fluid obtained from patients with intracranial tumor. The system provides a method for expansion of the malignant B cell population present in small volumes of fluid that are available for research use.


Primary intraocular lymphoma (PIOL) is a diffuse large B cell lymphoma with poor prognosis due to frequent intracranial involvement;1 ocular and/or cerebral tumour is more generally described as “primary central nervous system lymphoma” (PCNSL).2 Expansion of the malignant cells has proved difficult and is a priority for studies of pathogenesis.3 AIDS-related lymphomas demonstrate aggressive growth at extranodal sites, where HIV-1 infection of endothelial cells (EC)4 may …

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Funding: Supported by NIH grants EY014909 (J R Smith) and AI063938 (A V Moses), and Research to Prevent Blindness Career Development Award (J R Smith) and Senior Scholar Award (J T Rosenbaum).