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Differentiation. 1985;29(3):259-67.

Characterization of human embryonal carcinoma cell lines derived from testicular germ-cell tumors.


Four human embryonal carcinoma (EC) cell lines (ITO, NEC 8, NEC 14, NEC 15) derived independently from testicular germ-cell tumors were established in vitro. In their xenografted tumor tissues, all of them exhibited histological characteristics consistent with EC. The cell-biological characterization of these human EC cell lines was investigated with reference to well-known murine EC cell lines. This included examination of their morphology, growth, tumorigenic potential, karyotype, cell-aggregate formation, HLA expression, large glycopeptides, AFP and HCG production, plasminogen-activator secretion, and LDH profiles. Three (ITO, NEC 14, NEC 15) of these human EC cell lines shared cell-biological characteristics consistent with typical EC, but one of them (NEC 8) differed from the others with respect to its rapid growth, high tumorigenic potential, formation of solid cell aggregates, and less differentiated, solid histological pattern. Thus, it is suggested that there are several developmentally different types of human EC cells. The relationship between the properties of these human EC cell lines and their differentiation potential is discussed.

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