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Ramos Cells - B-Cell Lymphoma Research: The Importance of Ramos Cells

Ramos cells are a B lymphocyte cell line extensively used in biomedical research. Particularly, they find primary applications in immunology and cancer studies. Researchers employ these cells for evaluating cytotoxic drugs and studying B cell surface antigens, mutations, and apoptotic mechanisms.

Before working with it, this article comprises all the essential information about Ramos cells. It includes:

  1. Origin and general attributes of Ramos cells
  2. Culturing information about Ramos cell line
  3. Ramos cell line: Advantages & Limitations
  4. Applications of Ramos cells in research
  5. Publications featuring Ramos cells
  6. Resources for Ramos cell line: Protocols, Videos, and More

1.      Origin and general attributes of Ramos cells

Understanding a cell line's origin and essential attributes plays a crucial role in deciding its suitability for your research. Therefore, it is advisable to thoroughly assess this information before commencing any work on it. This section covers the following frequently asked questions: What is the Ramos cancer cell line? What is Ramos cell line CD19? What is Ramos cell line CD20? What is the origin of Ramos cells? What are the markers on the Ramos cell line? What is the Ramos cell size? What is the morphology of Ramos cell line?

  • Ramos cell line was established in 1972. These cells were derived from the ascitic fluid of a 3-year-old Caucasian boy with American-type Burkitt lymphoma [1].
  • They express key B cell markers, including immunoglobulin M (IgM), CD19, CD20, and CD22.
  • Ramos cells are Epstein bar virus-negative cells. However, they can be permanently shifted to Epstein-Barr virus-positive cells.
  • These B lymphoblast cells possess a round shape morphology.

Ramos blue cells vs. Ramos B cells

Ramos blue cells and Ramos B cells are both human Burkitt lymphoma cells. Both are negative for Epstein bar virus. The difference between these cells is that Ramos blue cells express an NF-κB/AP-1-inducible reporter gene called SEAP (secreted embryonic alkaline phosphate), whereas white Ramos cells do not.

High-resolution 3D animation illustrating the dynamics of a B lymphocyte.

2.      Culturing Ramos Cells

This section of the article is dedicated to helping you learn imperative cell culture information regarding the Ramos cells. Here, you will get to know: What is the cell lines doubling time? What is the recommended medium? How do you culture Ramos cells?

Key Points for Culturing Ramos Cells

Doubling Time:

The Ramos cells doubling time is roughly 20.4 ± 1.5 hours. However, it may deviate depending on the provided cell culture conditions.

Adherent or in Suspension:

The Ramos cells grow in suspension.

Cell density:

The optimum cell density for the Ramos cell line is 3 x 105 cells/ml. For subculturing, the suspended cells are collected through centrifugation. Cells are added with fresh media and resuspended carefully. Afterward, the cells were poured into the new flask at a density of 3 to 9 x 105 cells/ml.

Growth Medium:

RPMI 1640 supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum, 2.1 mM stable Glutamine, and 2.0 g/L NaHCO3 is used to culture Ramos cells. media should be replaced 2 times per week.

Growth Conditions:

The human Burkitt lymphoma cell line (Ramos) is kept in a humidified incubator at 5% CO2 and 37°C temperature.


Frozen Ramos cells are kept at below -150 degrees Celsius temperature or in the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen to protect the viability of cells for longer terms.

Freezing Process and Medium:

CM-1 or CM-ACF freezing media is recommended for Ramos cells. A slow freezing process is used that permits a gradual 1-degree Celsius decrease in temperature per minute. This slow freezing protects cells from any shock and enhances their viability.

Thawing Process:

For thawing, frozen cells are kept in a pre-warmed water bath at 37°C for 40 to 60 seconds until a small ice clump is left. After that, fresh medium is added and cells are centrifuged to remove freezing media elements. The pellet is again resuspended and cells are dispensed into a new flask containing culture medium.

Biosafety Level:

The Biosafety level 1 laboratory is essential for maintaining Epstein-Barr virus negative Ramos cell cultures. However, the biosafety level is shifted to 2 when Ramos cells are permanently turned into Epstein-Barr virus positive.


Ramos proliferating B lymphocyte cell line in suspension, shown at 10x and 20x magnification.

3.      Ramos: Advantages & Limitations

Like other cell lines, Ramos cells also have distinct advantages and limitations. This section will explore some notable ones that may significantly influence their research use.


The key advantages of the Ramos cell line are:

Burkitt lymphoma cell model


Ramos cells were developed from a Burkitt's lymphoma patient, making them a relevant cell model for studying lymphoid malignancies.

Easy Culturing


Ramos cells are easy to culture and maintain in the laboratory. There are no fussy cell culture requirements and conditions.


The limitations associated with the Ramos cell line are:

In Vitro model

Ramos cells may not completely represent the genetic complexity of patient tumors, thus limiting their applicability. Moreover, Ramos cell line experiment outcomes may not reflect in vivo conditions completely, potentially leading to translational challenges.

 4.      Applications of Ramos cells in research

Ramos offers promising applications in the biomedical field. Some of the imperative research uses of the Ramos cells include:

  • Lymphoma Biology: Ramos cells are broadly used to study the biology of lymphoma. They are used to explore genetic and molecular factors underlying lymphoid malignancies. Besides, researchers gain insights into disease initiation, progression, and heterogeneity utilizing these Burkitt lymphoma cells. Genetic mutations and signalling pathways are also investigated, potentially leading to the development of more precise diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. A study conducted in 2019 found that GCN5 (General control non-depressible 5) Histone acetyltransferase inhibition decreases tumorigenicity of human Burkitt lymphoma cells (Ramos) via disrupting BCR signalling. Therefore, GCN5 is suggested as a feasible target for developing lymphoma drug therapy [2].
  • Drug screening and testing: Ramos cell line is widely utilized in drug screening and testing purposes. Researchers evaluate the efficacy of potential therapeutic compounds in inhibiting cell proliferation and growth and inducing cell death in lymphoma cells. This helps identify promising drug candidates, thus facilitating the development of targeted treatments for lymphoma patients. Such as research showed that Annona fruit skin, pulp, and seeds methanolic extract exerted moderate while chloroform extract exhibited robust effects on the proliferation of Ramos cells. Thus, the study proposed that Annona fruits might prove effective in lymphoma prevention and treatment [3].

5.      Publications featuring Ramos cells

This section of the article enlists a few interesting research publications featuring Ramos cell line:

Continuous signaling of CD 79b and CD 19 is required for the fitness of Burkitt lymphoma B cells

This research was published in The EMBO journal in 2018. The study found that Ramos B cells require the expression of Ramos cells CD19 and CD79b (BCR signalling component Igβ) markers for their fitness and competitive growth.

Smac mimetics and TRAIL cooperate to induce MLKL-dependent necroptosis in Burkitt's lymphoma cell lines

This study published in Neoplasia (2021) utilized Ramos cells and proposed that the mixed lineage kinase domain (MLKL) is epigenetically regulated in Burkitt lymphoma cells (Ramos). Thus, it is a promising prognostic marker for the treatment success of necroptosis-related therapies.

Phosphorylation of PBK/TOPK Tyr74 by JAK2 promotes Burkitt lymphoma tumor growth

This research article in Cancer Letters (2022) suggested that the JAK2/TOPK/histone H3 signalling axis plays a crucial role in the proliferation of B lymphoma cell lines in vitro.

Verotoxin-1-Induced ER Stress Triggers Apoptotic or Survival Pathways in Burkitt Lymphoma Cells

This article was published in 2020 in Toxins. The study proposed that treatment of verotoxin-1 induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in Ramos B cells. This leads to the initiation of apoptotic or survival signalling in lymphoma cell lines.

Silymarin inhibits Toll-like receptor 8 gene expression and apoptosis in Ramos cancer cell line

This study in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine (2020) reported that a natural compound, silymarin, suppresses TLR8 (Toll-like receptor 8) expression and apoptosis in the Ramos cell line.

6.      Resources for Ramos cell line: Protocols, Videos, and More

The following are a few online resources on Ramos cells:

The following link contains the Ramos cell culture protocol:

  • Ramos cells: This website contains basic information about the Ramos cell line. It also contains a protocol for subculturing Ramos cells and handling proliferating and cryopreserved cultures. Moreover, information regarding Ramos cell media, doubling time, and cell density is also available.


  1. Kerntke, C.G., Analysis of the organization and signaling capacity of the membrane IgE during its interaction with CD19 and CD23 in B lymphocytes. 2021, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.
  2. Farria, A.T., et al., GCN5 HAT inhibition reduces human Burkitt lymphoma cell survival through reduction of MYC target gene expression and impeding BCR signaling pathways. Oncotarget, 2019. 10(56): p. 5847.
  3. Al‐Shaya, H.M., et al., Phytochemical profile and antioxidation activity of annona fruit and its effect on lymphoma cell proliferation. Food Science & Nutrition, 2020. 8(1): p. 58-68.