Establishment and characterization of three myeloma cell lines that demonstrate variable cytokine responses and abilities to produce autocrine interleukin-6

J. J. Westendorf, G. J. Ahmann, P. R. Greipp, T. E. Witzig, R. A. Kyle, J. A. Lust, D. F. Jelinek

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80 Scopus citations


A consensus regarding myeloma cell growth factor responsiveness and ability to produce autocrine interleukin (IL)-6 has not yet been obtained. In this study, we have established three new human myeloma cell lines (DP-6, KAS6/1 and KP-6) from patients with aggressive disease. Extensive characterization of these cell lines revealed considerable heterogeneity at several levels. Growth factor responsiveness was initially addressed. Although the potent myeloma cell growth factor, IL-6, induced the proliferation and allowed for the expansion of all three cell lines, a panel of other cytokines elicited heterogeneous responses in each cell line. IL-3, IL-10, IL-11, insulin-like growth factor-I and tumor necrosis factor-α also stimulated DNA synthesis in all three cell lines; however, the magnitude of the response was generally lower than that observed in cultures containing IL-6. Transforming growth factor-β, by contrast, uniformly inhibited the growth of all three cell lines. IL-1α and IL-1β induced the proliferation of the DP-6 cells, but had minimal effects on the KAS-6/1 and KP-6 cells. Interferon (IFN)-α stimulated DNA synthesis in the KAS-6/1 cells, but inhibited the proliferation of the DP-6 and KP-6 cells. By comparison, IFN-γ induced the growth of the KAS-6/1 and DP-6 cells, but inhibited the KP-6 cells. The gp130-associated cytokines, IL-11, leukemia inhibitory factor and oncostatin M, stimulated the growth of the KAS-6/1 cells, but had minimal effects on the DP-6 and KP-6 cells. The cell lines were also analyzed for IL-6 expression. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that all three cell lines expressed IL-6 mRNA. However, when culture supernatants were tested using a sensitive IL-6 ELISA or IL-6 bioassay only the DP-6 and KP-6 cells were shown to be secreting biologically active IL-6. In summary, although all three of these cell lines were established from myeloma patients, the heterogeneity observed between these cell lines was considerable and may reflect, as well as provide tools to study, the heterogeneity observed in clinical disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)866-876
Number of pages11
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1996



  • Autocrine
  • Cell lines
  • Cytokines
  • IL-6
  • Myeloma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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