The life history of a transplantable B cell leukemia (BCL1) that arose spontaneously in a BALB/c mouse is described. Animals bearing this tumor live from 2 to 4 months in apparently good health despite massive splenomegaly and leukemia. Antibody to the idiotype or λ light chain of the tumor IgM was used in conjunction with the fluorescence-activated cell sorter to identify tumor cells in the BCL1-bearing mice. The results suggest that these cells multiply and differentiate in the spleen and subsequently emigrate to the blood. Tumor cells do not recirculate as evidenced by their failure to enter the thoracic duct or to infiltrate lymph nodes to a significant extent. During tumor growth, a population of T cell blasts appears that may be involved with an immune response against the tumor.

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This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants AI-11851, AI-12789, AI-10967, and CA-23115.

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