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Cytotechnology. 2013 Oct;65(5):697-704. doi: 10.1007/s10616-013-9566-2. Epub 2013 Apr 18.

Establishment of primary cell culture from the temperate symbiotic cnidarian, Anemonia viridis.

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Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6, UMR 7138 Systématique Adaptation Evolution, 7 quai St Bernard, 75252, Paris cedex 05, France,


The temperate symbiotic sea anemone Anemonia viridis, a member of the Cnidaria phylum, is a relevant experimental model to investigate the molecular and cellular events involved in the preservation or in the rupture of the symbiosis between the animal cells and their symbiotic microalgae, commonly named zooxanthellae. In order to increase research tools for this model, we developed a primary culture from A. viridis animal cells. By adapting enzymatic dissociation protocols, we isolated animal host cells from a whole tentacle in regeneration state. Each plating resulted in a heterogeneous primary culture consisted of free zooxanthellae and many regular, small rounded and adherent cells (of 3-5 μm diameter). Molecular analyses conducted on primary cultures, maintained for 2 weeks, confirmed a specific signature of A. viridis cells. Further serial dilutions and micromanipulation allowed us to obtain homogenous primary cultures of the small rounded cells, corresponding to A. viridis "epithelial-like cells". The maintenance and the propagation over a 4 weeks period of primary cells provide, for in vitro cnidarian studies, a preliminary step for further investigations on cnidarian cellular pathways notably in regard to symbiosis interactions.

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