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Cytotechnology. 1991 Mar;5(3):211-22.

Karyotypic stability of serum-free mouse embryo (SFME) cells.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97331-6503.


Mouse embryo cultures derived in serum-containing medium undergo growth crisis or senescence after fewer than 20 population doublings, followed by the emergence of genetically altered, polyploid 'immortalized' cells capable of growing indefinitely. Serum-free mouse embryo (SFME) cells, derived in medium in which serum is replaced with growth factors and other supplements, do not exhibit growth crisis or gross chromosomal aberrations when cultured for well over 100 population doublings and display other unique properties. We examined culture conditions and physiological factors affecting karyotypic stability in long term cultures of SFME cells derived from several mouse strains. Cloning SFME cells consistently isolated colonies with altered karyotype, even when the clones were derived from parent cultures with no karyotypic alterations. After 140-200 population doublings in vitro, the percentage of SFME cells showing hyperdiploidy or structural chromosomal abnormalities increased, although the modal chromosome number remained diploid. SFME cells transformed with molecularly cloned oncogenes did not show alterations in karyotype beyond that expected from the clonal origins of these cells, indicating that malignant transformation of SFME cells does not result in general karyotypic instability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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