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J Cell Biochem. 1991 Mar;45(3):279-83.

Applications of immortalized cells in basic and clinical neurology.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway 08854.


Immortalized cell lines can serve as model systems for studies of neuronal development and restoration of function in models of neurological disease. Cell lines which result from spontaneous or experimentally-induced tumors have been used for these purposes. More recently, the techniques of genetic engineering have resulted in the production of cell lines with specific desired characteristics. This has been accomplished by insertion of a desired gene into a pre-existing immortal cell or by immortalizing primary cells. The production of immortal cell lines using temperature-sensitive immortalizing genes offers an additional method of controlling gene expression, and thereby controlling cell proliferation and differentiation. In the nervous system, these techniques have produced immortal cell lines with neuronal and glial properties.

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