Human Genetics

, Volume 60, Issue 4, pp 310–313 | Cite as

Cell morphology in long-term cultures of normal and abnormal amniotic fluids

  • P. Medina-Gómez
  • T. H. Johnston
Original Investigations


The cell morphology of long-term cultures of amniotic fluid cells from 10 fetuses with a neural tube defect (NTD) and three with omphalocele was examined and compared to 30 long-term cultures of normal amniotic fluids as well as a long-term culture of human fetal brain. Cultures from the amniotic fluids of the fetuses with NTD and omphalocele showed cells with the same general characteristics as normal amniotic fluid cells. However, the cultures of amniotic fluid cells from NTD pregnancies had an additional cell type also seen in fetal brain culture. This was a neuroblast-like cell, with small rounded refractile morphology and long branching processes forming clusters of varying sizes which lay on top of large flat cells. These neuroblast-like cells diminished in number with time in culture and were not present in subcultures. Their possible neuronal origin is discussed.


Metabolic Disease General Characteristic Cell Morphology Amniotic Fluid Fetal Brain 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Medina-Gómez
    • 1
  • T. H. Johnston
    • 2
  1. 1.MRC Clinical and Population Cytogenetics UnitWestern General HospitalEdinburghScotland
  2. 2.Department of Human Genetics, University of EdinburghWestern General HospitalEdinburghScotland

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