Strategies for Immortalising Human Primary Cells and the Steps That Lead to Immortality

  • L. V. Mayne
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 218)


Continuously growing human cell lines are a valuable resource for both industry and academia. Unfortunately, cell cultures obtained from human biopsies have only a limited in vitro lifespan and virtually never spontaneously give rise to continuously growing cell lines. This is in sharp contrast to the situation with rodent cells where immortal cells arise at a relatively high frequency (1). Not only are human cells highly refractory to spontaneous immortalisation, but the methods that have been successful in inducing immortality in rodent cells give rise to continuously growing human cell lines at a relatively low frequency (2). These results indicate that the mechanism leading to immortality in rodent cells is quite different from that in human cells and thus, strategies for immortalising human cells cannot simply be based upon those for rodents.


Human Cell Line Differentiate Cell Type Rodent Cell Immortal Cell Immortal Cell Line 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. V. Mayne
    • 1
  1. 1.Biological Sciences Division, Sussex Centre for Medical ResearchUniversity of SussexFalmer, BrightonEngland

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