Table 8-3Some Landmarks in the Development of Tissue and Cell Culture

1885 Roux shows that embryonic chick cells can be maintained alive in a saline solution outside the animal body.
1907 Harrison cultivates amphibian spinal cord in a lymph clot, thereby demonstrating that axons are produced as extensions of single nerve cells.
1910 Rous induces a tumor by using a filtered extract of chicken tumor cells, later shown to contain an RNA virus (Rous sarcoma virus).
1913 Carrel shows that cells can grow for long periods in culture provided they are fed regularly under aseptic conditions.
1948 Earle and colleagues isolate single cells of the L cell line and show that they form clones of cells in tissue culture.
1952 Gey and colleagues establish a continuous line of cells derived from a human cervical carcinoma, which later become the well-known HeLa cell line.
1954 Levi-Montalcini and associates show that nerve growth factor (NGF) stimulates the growth of axons in tissue culture.
1955 Eagle makes the first systematic investigation of the essential nutritional requirements of cells in culture and finds that animal cells can propagate in a defined mixture of small molecules supplemented with a small proportion of serum proteins.
1956 Puck and associates select mutants with altered growth requirements from cultures of HeLa cells.
1958 Temin and Rubin develop a quantitative assay for the infection of chick cells in culture by purified Rous sarcoma virus. In the following decade the characteristics of this and other types of viral transformation are established by Stoker, Dulbecco, Green, and other virologists.
1961 Hayflick and Moorhead show that human fibroblasts die after a finite number of divisions in culture.
1964 Littlefield introduces HAT medium for the selective growth of somatic cell hybrids. Together with the technique of cell fusion, this makes somatic-cell genetics accessible.
Kato and Takeuchi obtain a complete carrot plant from a single carrot root cell in tissue culture.
1965 Ham introduces a defined, serum-free medium able to support the clonal growth of certain mammalian cells.
Harris and Watkins produce the first heterocaryons of mammalian cells by the virus-induced fusion of human and mouse cells.
1968 Augusti-Tocco and Sato adapt a mouse nerve cell tumor (neuroblastoma) to tissue culture and isolate clones that are electrically excitable and that extend nerve processes. A number of other differentiated cell lines are isolated at about this time, including skeletal muscle and liver cell lines.
1975 Köhler and Milstein produce the first monoclonal antibody-secreting hybridoma cell lines.
1976 Sato and associates publish the first of a series of papers showing that different cell lines require different mixtures of hormones and growth factors to grow in serum-free medium.
1977 Wigler and Axel and their associates develop an efficient method for introducing single-copy mammalian genes into cultured cells, adapting an earlier method developed by Graham and van der Eb.
1986 Martin and Evans and colleagues isolate and culture pluripotent embryonic stem cells from mouse.
1998 Thomson and Gearhart and their associates isolate human embryonic stem cells.

From: Isolating Cells and Growing Them in Culture

Cover of Molecular Biology of the Cell
Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition.
Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, et al.
New York: Garland Science; 2002.
Copyright © 2002, Bruce Alberts, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and Peter Walter; Copyright © 1983, 1989, 1994, Bruce Alberts, Dennis Bray, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and James D. Watson .

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