Representative Cultured Cell Lines and
Virtually thousands of different cell lines have been
derived from human and other metazoan tissues.
Many of these originate from normal tissues and
exhibit a definable, limited doubling potential. Other
cell lines may be propagated continuously, as they
either have become immortalized from the normal by
genetic changes or have been developed initially from
tumor tissue. Finite lines of sufficient doubling potential
and continuous lines can both be expanded
to produce a large number of aliquots, frozen, and
authenticated for widespread use in research.
Resources such as the American Type Culture Collection
(ATCC) have been established to acquire, preserve,
authenticate, and distribute reference cell lines
and microorganisms for use by the academic and
industrial scientific community (Hay et al., 2000). The
cell biology program at the ATCC performs these functions
to include human and animal cell lines with over
4000 available in 2003.
The advantages of working with well-defined cell
lines free from contaminating organisms may appear
obvious. Unfortunately, however, the potential pitfalls
associated with the use of cell lines casually obtained
and processed still require emphasis (Stacey et al.,
2000). Numerous occasions where lines exchanged
among cooperating laboratories have been contaminated
with cells of other species have been recognized
since the late 1960s (Nelson-Rees et al., 1974, 1981;
MacLeod et al., 1999). The loss of time and research
funds as a result of these problems is very extensive.
Although bacterial and fungal contaminations represent
an added concern, in most instances they are
overt and easily detected, and therefore have less
serious consequences than the more insidious contaminations
by mycoplasma. That the presence of
these latter microorganisms in cultured cell lines often
negates research findings entirely has been stated
repeatedly over the years (Barile et al., 1973; Hay et al.,
1989). However, the difficulties of detection and the
prevalence of contaminated cultures in the research
community suggest that the problem cannot be
overemphasized. These and related difficulties associated
with the use of cell lines obtained from different
sources can be avoided if one acquires stocks from a
centralized cell resource that applies appropriate
quality control (Hay et al., 2000).
Representative human cell lines from normal and
tumor tissues available from the ATCC are listed in
Table I with a selection of a few of the more important
characteristics. Similar data on a variety of cell lines
from other animals are included in Table II. More
current information on these and other cell lines, their
availability, and characteristics is available online via
the ATCC website at www.atcc.org.
THIS SECTION CONTAINS TWO BIG TABLE,
(TABLE I AND TABLE II).
Barile, M. E, Hopps, H. E., Grabowski, M. W., Riggs, D. B., and Del
Giudice, R. A. (1973). The identification and sources of mycoplasmas
isolated from contaminated cultures. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 225, 252-264.
Hay, R. J., Cleland, M. M., Durkin, S., and Reid, Y. A. (2000). Cell line
preservation and authentication. In "Animal Cell Culture: A
Practical Approach" (J. R. W. Masters, ed.), 3rd Ed., pp. 69-103.
Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford.
Hay, R. J., Caputo, J., Chen, T. R., Macy, M. L., McClintock, R, and
Reid, Y. A. (1992). "Catalogue of Cell Lines and Hybridomas," 7th Ed. American Type Culture Collection, Rockville, MD.
Hay, R. J., Macy, M. L., and Chen, T. R. (1989). Mycoplasma infection
of cultured cells. Nature (London) 339, 487-488.
MacLeod, R. A. E, Dirks, W. G., Kaufmann M., Matsuo Y., Milch H.,
and Drexler H. G. (1999). Widespread intraspecies crosscontamination
of human tumor cell line arising at source. Int. J.
Cancer 83, 555-563.
Nelson-Rees, W., Daniels, W. W., and Flandermeyer, R. R. (1981).
Cross-contamination of cells in culture. Science 212, 446-452.
Nelson-Rees, W. A., and Flandemeyer, R. R. (1977). Inter- and
intraspecies contamination of human breast tumor cell lines HBC
and BrCa5 and other cell cultures. Science 195, 1343-1344.
Nelson-Rees, W. A., Flandermeyer, R. R., and Hawthorne, P. K.
(1974) Banded marker chromosomes as indicators of intraspecies
cellular contamination. Science 184, 1093-1096.
Stacey, G. N., Masters, J. R. W., Hay, R. J., Drexler, H. G., MacLeod,
R. A. E, and Freshney, R. I. (2000). Cell contamination leads to
inaccurate data: We must take action now. Nature 403, 356.