Acute megakaryoblastic leukemia is uncommon and comprises about 5% of acute nonlymphoid leukemias in the French-American-British classification. Cell lines from such leukemias are relatively rare with only about 8 reported in the literature. We established a cell line from a case of acute megakaryoblastic leukemia arising in a 2-year-old child. Surface marker studies of the cells confirmed their megakaryoblastic nature, with 54% of the cells being CD61 positive and peroxidase and esterase negative. The cells had a doubling time of 72 h. Emperipolesis (a phenomenon in which a cell, usually a lymphocyte or neutrophil, enters another cell, moves about and leaves without undergoing phagocytosis) of one blast into another, larger one, was occasionally seen, and a review of the original bone marrow specimen also showed emperipolesis of neutrophils into the megakaryoblasts. The cells responded to interleukin 3 and were inhibited with all-transretinoic acid. The karyotype of the cells was the 46, XX,-16 with a marker chromosome. The marker chromosome is possibly chromosome 16 with a small segment of a chromosome translocated to the terminal portion of chromosome 16.

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