KBM-3, an in vitro model of human acute myelomonocytic leukemia

B. J. Andersson, U. S R Bergerheim, V. P. Collins, C. Childs, M. Beran, S. Sen, K. Arden, S. Pathak, M. J. Siciliano, A. Ost, E. J. Freireich

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    A human acute myelomonocytic leukemia cell line, KBM-3, was developed to study the pathophysiology of human acute myeloid leukemia. This cell line was characterized by morphology, immunophenotype, Giemsa-banding pattern, in vitro proliferation capacity, and tumorigenicity in nude mice. The KBM-3 cell line was established in the presence of exogenous lymphokines (human placenta-conditioned medium, HPCM), but medium for later passages did not contain HPCM. We found high cellular expression of the mRNA for granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), which we suggest may be important for the immortalization of the cell line. KBM-3 cells have an immature myelomonocytic phenotype. Cytogenetic analysis revealed a pseudodiploid karyotype with five characteristic marker chromosomes and ranging in total number from 45 to 49. In suspension culture, the cells had a doubling time of 23 h and a cloning efficiency of about 30% in soft agar independent of exogenous lymphokines. Two-thirds of nude mice injected with 1 x 104 KBM-3 cells and all animals injected with 1 x 105 cells developed S.C. granulocytic sarcomas within 6-8 weeks. These tumors were locally invasive but did not give rise to distant metastases. When transplanted to a new set of nude mice, all tumors formed secondary sarcomas at the site of implant. We conclude that the KBM-3 cell line may have value for studying the molecular events that underlie the neoplastic transformation in human myeloid leukemia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)361-367
    Number of pages6
    JournalExperimental Hematology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1992


    • Cell line
    • Human
    • Myeloid leukemia


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