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Mol Cell Biol. 1983 Dec; 3(12): 2280–2286.
PMCID: PMC370099

Induced muscle differentiation in an embryonal carcinoma cell line.


Cells of the teratocarcinoma-derived line P19S1801A1 (01A1) are pluripotent embryonal carcinoma cells and can be induced to differentiate when aggregated and exposed to dimethyl sulfoxide. Many nonneural cell types appear in dimethyl sulfoxide-treated cultures, cardiac and skeletal muscle being the most easily identified. We have used immunofluorescence procedures with monoclonal antibodies directed against muscle myosin to confirm and quantitate the number of muscle cells formed. A monoclonal antibody reactive with an embryonal carcinoma-specific surface antigen was used to confirm the disappearance of undifferentiated cells after dimethyl sulfoxide treatment. Cardiac muscle cells developed within 4 to 5 days of drug exposure, but skeletal muscle cells did not become evident until 7 to 8 days. We have isolated a mutant cell line (D3) which appears to be incapable of muscle development but which does form neurons and glial cells when exposed to high retinoic acid concentrations. We propose that this system will be useful for investigation of the means by which pluripotent cells become committed to development along the striated muscle lineages.

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Selected References

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