AIMS--To generate new monoclonal antibodies directed against melanoma associated antigens using a new melanoma cell line, KAL. METHODS--The melanoma cell line was established in culture from a lymph node metastasis of malignant melanoma. Normal Balb/c mice were immunised with KAL cells. Splenocytes were used for fusion experiments using standard techniques. Hybridoma supernatants were tested for antibody binding activity using an indirect immunoperoxidase method on frozen sections from KAL tumour cells xenografted onto nude mice and human tonsils. KBA.62 was selected because of its reactivity with melanocytic proliferations on both frozen and paraffin wax sections. RESULTS--On immunoblotting, KBA.62 reacted with three bands of 140, 135 and 128 kD and two weak bands of 88 and 73 kD. In normal human tissues basal melanocytes in the epidermis did not react with this antibody and only occasional labelling of endothelial cells was noted. Of the human tumours, KBA.62 reacted strongly and uniformly with the majority of benign (21/21) and malignant (75/86) melanocytic proliferations. Staining was localised predominantly to the cell membrane with little or no cytoplasmic reactivity. Negative staining was observed in the majority of human non-melanocytic neoplasms, the exceptions being some carcinomas (11/89), particularly the well differentiated squamous cell type. This, however, was not thought to present a diagnostic problem. CONCLUSIONS--KBA.62 appears to be potentially useful in ascertaining the immunomorphological diagnosis of malignant melanoma in routinely processed paraffin wax sections.
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