The morphological response of Kc-H cells to ecdysteroids: Hormonal specificity

  • Lucy Cherbas
  • Christopher D. Yonge
  • Peter Cherbas
  • Carroll M. Williams


Cells of the line Kc, derived fromDrosophila melanogaster embryos, extend long processes when exposed to ecdysteroid hormones. We have devised a quantitative assay for this morphological response, using the subline Kc-H. The assay was used to characterize the conditions required for the response. A halfmaximal response is elicited by approximately 10−8M 20-hydroxyecdysone; the response is saturated by 10−7M 20-hydroxyecdysone, which causes detectable elongation within a few hours, and a maximal response after 2–3 days. The response occurs substantially normally in the absence of serum, during growth in suspension, and in over-crowded cultures. It is not elicited by cyclic nucleotides, vertebrate growth factors, or a variety of other non-ecdysteroid reagents. Of 60 ecdysteroid compounds tested, only those which were active in other insect test systems elicited the response, and the concentrations required were approximately proportional to the concentrations active in other in vitro systems. We conclude that the response of Kc cells to 20-hydroxyecdysone retains basic features of the ecdysteroid response of intact tissues and therefore that Kc cells are a useful model system for studying ecdysteroid action.

Key words

Cell line Drosophila Ecdysone Ecdysterone Hormones 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucy Cherbas
    • 1
  • Christopher D. Yonge
    • 1
  • Peter Cherbas
    • 1
  • Carroll M. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Cellular and Developmental Biology, The Biological LaboratoriesHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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