, Volume 42, Issue 5-6, pp 143-148

A method for prolonged survival of primary cell lines

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Summary

We have established a means for prolonged survival of primary cell cultures and establishment of continuous cell lines without genetic manipulations. Primary cultures of granulosa cells degenerate rapidly in vitro by a spontaneous onset of apoptotic cell death. Earlier attempts to circumvent this limitation have included transformation with oncogenes, spontaneous immortalization of primary cultures, and chemical carcinogenesis. We have found that addition of a complex of growth-promoting compounds, carrier proteins, and factors isolated from porcine follicular fluid to standard culture medium allows, reproducibly, the establishment of continuous porcine primary granulosa cell lines with genetic stability. This same supplement allows the prolonged survival of primary cell cultures derived from adult rat ovaries. The rat ovary primary cultures consisted of mixed phenotypes, including epithelial, neuron-like, and mesenchymal cell types. Numerous cells stain positive for alkaline phosphatase in these cultures. Other primary cell lines were established from embryonic rat liver and from adult rat lungs, using the same supplement. The survival effect is reversible because cells degenerate when the supplement is removed. Therefore, the cell lines have neither acquired properties of a tumor cell line nor have they been immortalized by a virus infection. We expect that our approach will open the door to prolonged survival of other primary cell types.