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Established cell lines were stained by immunofluorescence with four monoclonal antibodies to study the phenomenon of antigenic heterogeneity and its possible relation to the cell cycle. Five cell lines thought to be of breast origin, MCF-7, ZR-75-1, T47D, MDA-MB-231 and HBL-100, were stained with three monoclonal antibodies (LICR-LON-M8, LICR-LON-M18, LICR-LON-M24) that each stain a distinct subset of normal breast epithelial cells, i.e. demonstrate antigenic heterogeneity in normal breast epithelial cells. Contrasting monoclonal antibodies LICR-LON-FIB75 and LICR-LON-FIB86 to homogeneously expressed antigens were also used. For the antibodies demonstrating heterogeneity distinct positive and negative fractions were not seen by flow cytometry; the intensity of fluorescence varied continuously from background to a hundred times stronger than background. Fluorescent DNA staining showed no obvious relation between antigen expression and the cell cycle. The essentially constant proportion of cells of a given antigenic phenotype in the various phases suggests that these antibodies do not distinguish a phenotype associated with a distinct proliferating population of cells.



Journal of cell science

Publication Date





321 - 333


Breast, Cell Line, Skin, Humans, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antigens, Heterophile, Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Flow Cytometry, Cell Cycle