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In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 2002 May;38(5):258-61.

A kidney epithelial cell line from a Bolivian squirrel monkey.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mobile 36688, USA.


Squirrel monkeys are the most commonly used New World primates in biomedical research, but in vitro studies are restricted by the limited number of cell lines available from this species. We report here the development and characterization of a continuous, kidney epithelial cell line (SQMK-FP cells) derived from a newborn squirrel monkey. Karyotype was consistent with Bolivian squirrel monkey (submetacentric chromosome pair 15 and acrocentric chromosome pair 16). All cells examined were hyperdiploid with chromosome numbers ranging from 52 to 57. Ultrastructural analysis of SQMK-FP cells revealed the presence of cell junctions with radiating filaments, indicating desmosomes and numerous surface projections containing longitudinally oriented filaments typical of tubular epithelium. Biochemically, SQMK-FP cells exhibit glucocorticoid resistance typical of the squirrel monkey. Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) binding is low in SQMK-FP cells because of high expression of the FK506-binding immunophilin FKBP51 that inhibits GR binding. SQMK-FP cells constitute a tubular epithelial cell line that has biochemical properties characteristic of squirrel monkeys and represents an alternate cell model to B-lymphoblast SML cells to study the biology of the squirrel monkey in vitro.

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