, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 211–222 | Cite as

Karyotypic stability of Serum-Free Mouse Embryo (SFME) cells

  • Ted Ernst
  • Constance Jackson
  • David Barnes
Original Research Paper


Mouse embryo cultures derived in serum-containing medium undergo growth crisis or senescence after fewer than 20 population doublings, followed by the emergence of genetically altered, polyploid ‘immortalized’ cells capable of growing indefinitely. Serum-free mouse embryo (SFME) cells, derived in medium in which serum is replaced with growth factors and other supplements, do not exhibit growth crisis or gross chromosomal aberrations when cultured for well over 100 population doublings and display other unique properties. We examined culture conditions and physiological factors affecting karyotypic stability in long term cultures of SFME cells derived from several mouse strains. Cloning SFME cells consistently isolated colonies with altered karyotype, even when the clones were derived from parent cultures with no karyotypic alterations. After 140–200 population doublingsin vitro, the percentage of SFME cells showing hyperdiploidy or structural chromosomal abnormalities increased, although the modal chromosome number remained diploid. SFME cells transformed with molecularly cloned oncogenes did not show alterations in karyotype beyond that expected from the clonal origins of these cells, indicating that malignant transformation of SFME cells does not result in general karyotypic instability.

Key words

Serum-Free Mouse Embryo (SFME) cells karyotype 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    TodaroGJ and GreenHJ (1963) J. Cell Biol. 17: 299–313.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    AaronsonSA and TodaroGJ (1968) J. Cell. Physiol. 72: 141–148.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    JainchillJL, AaronsonSA and TodaroGJ (1969) J. of Virol. 4: 549–553.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    ReznikoffCA, BrankowDW and HeidelbergerC (1973) Cancer Research 33: 3231–3238.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    LooDT, RawsonCL, ErnstT, ShirahataS and BarnesDW (1989) In:Cell Growth and Cell Division: a Practical Approach, BasergaR (ed.), pp. 17–34. IRL Press, London.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    CristofaloVJ and Stanulis-PraegerBM (1982) Adv. in Cell Culture 2: 1–53.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ambesi-ImpiombatoFW ParksLAM and CoonHG (1980) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 77: 3455–3459.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    OrlyJ, SatoG and EricksonG (1980) Cell 20: 817–827.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    GospodarowiczD, HirabayashiK, GiguereL and TauberH (1981) J. Cell Biol. 89: 568–578.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    HammondS, HamR and StampferM (1984) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA 81: 5435–5439Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    BrandiM, FitzpatrickL, CoonH and AurbachG (1986) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 83: 1709–14.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    LooDT, FuquayJI, RawsonCL and BarnesDW (1987) Science 236: 200–202.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    LooD, RawsonC, HelmrichA and BarnesD (1989) J. Cell. Physiol. 139: 484–491.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    LooD, RawsonC, SchmittM, LindbergK and BarnesD (1990) J. Cell Physiol. 142: 210–217.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    ShirahataS, RawsonC, LooD, ChangY and BarnesD (1990) J. Cell Physiol. 144: 69–76.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    RawsonC, Casola-SmithC and BarnesD (1990) Exp. Cell Res 186: 177–182.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Loo D, Rawson C, Natsuno T, Merrill G and Barnes D (1990) Exp. Cell Res, in press.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    HamRG and McKeehanWL (1979) Meth. Enzymol. 58: 44–93.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    NeterJ, WassermanW and KutnerMH (1983)Applied Linear Regression Models. Richard D. Irvin, Inc., Homewood, Illinois.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    ShihC and WeinbergRA (1982) Cell 29: 161–169.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    BargmannCK, HungMC and WeinbergRA (1986) Nature (London) 319: 226–230.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    FarberRA and LiskayRM (1974) Cytogenet. Cell Genet. 13: 384–396.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    SasakiMS and KodamaS (1987) J. Cell. Physiol. 131: 114–122.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ted Ernst
    • 1
  • Constance Jackson
    • 1
  • David Barnes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Environmental Health Sciences CenterOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

Personalised recommendations