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Establishment and characterization of 13 cell lines from a green turtle (Chelonia mydas) with fibropapillomas


Thirteen cell lines were established and characterized from brain, kidney, lung, spleen, heart, liver, gall bladder, urinary bladder, pancreas, testis, skin, and periorbital and tumor tissues of an immature male green turtle (Chelonia mydas) with fibropapillomas. Cell lines were optimally maintained at 30° C in RPMI 1640 medium supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum. Propagation of the turtle cell lines was serum dependent, and plating efficiencies ranged from 13 to 37%. The cell lines, which have been subcultivated more than 20 times, had a doubling time of approximately 30 to 36 h. When tested for their sensitivity to several fish viruses, most of the cell lines were susceptible to a rhabdovirus, spring viremia carp virus, but refractory to channel catfish virus (a herpesvirus), infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (a birnavirus), and two other fish rhabdoviruses, infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus and viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus. During in vitro subcultivation, tumor-like cell aggregates appeared in cell lines derived from lungs, testis, and periorbital and tumor tissues, and small, naked intranuclear virus particles were detected by thin-section electron microscopy. These cell lines are currently being used in attempts to isolate the putative etiologic virus of green turtle fibropapilloma.

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Correspondence to Yuanan Lu.

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Lu, Y., Nerurkar, V.R., Aguirre, A.A. et al. Establishment and characterization of 13 cell lines from a green turtle (Chelonia mydas) with fibropapillomas. In Vitro Cell.Dev.Biol.-Animal 35, 389–393 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11626-999-0113-6

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Key words

  • green turtle fibropapilloma
  • primary culture
  • cell line
  • tumor
  • turtle virus