Background: Leukemia/lymphoma cell lines have been critical in the investigation of the pathogenesis and therapy of hematological malignancies. While human LL cell lines have generally been found to recapitulate the primary tumors from which they were derived, appropriate characterization including cytogenetic and transcriptional assessment is crucial for assessing their clinical predictive value. Results: In the following study, five canine LL cell lines, CLBL-1, Ema, TL-1 (Nody-1), UL-1, and 3132, were characterized using extensive immunophenotyping, karyotypic analysis, oligonucleotide array comparative genomic hybridization (oaCGH), and gene expression profiling. Genome-wide DNA copy number data from the cell lines were also directly compared with 299 primary canine round cell tumors to determine whether the cell lines represent primary tumors, and, if so, what subtype each most closely resembled. Conclusions: Based on integrated analyses, CLBL-1 was classified as B-cell lymphoma, Ema and TL-1 as T-cell lymphoma, and UL-1 as T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. 3132, originally classified as a B-cell lymphoma, was reclassified as a histiocytic sarcoma based on characteristic cytogenomic properties. In combination, these data begin to elucidate the clinical predictive value of these cell lines which will enhance the appropriate selection of in vitro models for future studies of canine hematological malignancies.
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