Marine Biotechnology

, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 641–653 | Cite as

A Cell Line (HEW) from Embryos of Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinius) and Its Capacity to Tolerate Environmental Extremes

  • Steve P. Bryson
  • Elizabeth M. Joyce
  • D. John Martell
  • Lucy E. J. Lee
  • Shawn E. Holt
  • Steve C. Kales
  • Kazuhiro Fujiki
  • Brian Dixon
  • Niels C. Bols
Original Article


Cell lines can be useful experimental tools for studying marine fish, which are often difficult to routinely obtain and maintain in the laboratory. As few cell lines are available from coldwater marine fish, cultures were initiated from late gastrula embryos of haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) in Leibovitz's L-15 with fetal bovine serum (FBS). From one culture, a cell line (HEW) emerged that has been grown for close to 100 population doublings, was heteroploid, and expressed telomerase activity, all of which suggest HEW is immortal. Growth occurred only if FBS was present and was optimal at 12 to 18°C. Usually most cells had an epithelial-like morphology, but under some conditions, cells drew up into round central bodies from which radiated cytoplasmic extensions with multiple branches. These neural-like cells appeared within a few hours of cultures being placed at 28°C or being switch to a simple salt solution (SSS). At 28°C, cells died within 24 h. In SSS, HEW cells survived as a monolayer for at least 7 days. The sensitivity of HEW cells to morphological change and their capacity to withstand starvation should make them useful for investigating cellular responses to environmental stresses.


fish cell line haddock embryo Melanogrammus aeglefinus osmolality stress telomerase 



The research was supported by grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to BD, LEJL, and NCB and to DJM by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (St. Andrews Biological Station, St. Andrews, NB). SPB was supported by the Academic Subvention Program of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steve P. Bryson
    • 1
  • Elizabeth M. Joyce
    • 1
  • D. John Martell
    • 2
  • Lucy E. J. Lee
    • 3
  • Shawn E. Holt
    • 4
    • 5
  • Steve C. Kales
    • 1
  • Kazuhiro Fujiki
    • 1
  • Brian Dixon
    • 1
  • Niels C. Bols
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Fisheries and Oceans CanadaSt. Andrews NBCanada
  3. 3.Department of BiologyWilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada
  4. 4.Departments of Pathology, Human Genetics, Pharmacology & ToxicologyMassey Cancer CenterRichmondUSA
  5. 5.Mount Desert Biological LaboratorySalisbury CoveUSA

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