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In Vitro Cell Dev Biol. 1989 May;25(5):471-6.

Clonal derivation of a rat muscle cell strain that forms contraction-competent myotubes.

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


A muscle cell strain capable of forming contracting myotubes was isolated from an established rat embryo cell line. The myogenic cells, termed rat myoblast omega or RMo cells, have a diploid complement of chromosomes (n = 42). In the presence of mitogen-containing growth medium, RMo cells proliferated with a cell generation time of about 12 hours. In mitogen-depleted medium, RMo cells withdrew from the cell cycle and formed myotubes that spontaneously contracted. Differentiated RMo cells produced creatine kinase isozymes in a ratio characteristic of skeletal muscle cells. RMo cells were easy to cultivate. Cells proliferated and differentiated equally well on gelatin-coated or noncoated culture dishes, at clonal or mass culture densities, and in all basal media tested. In most experiments, growth medium consisted of horse serum-containing medium supplemented with either chicken embryo extract or FGF activity; cells proliferated equally well in medium containing unsupplemented calf serum. RMo cells differentiated if growth medium was not replenished regularly. Alternatively, differentiation was induceable by incubation in mitogen-depleted medium consisting of basal medium supplemented either with 10(-6) M insulin, 0.5% serum, or 50% conditioned growth medium. RMo cells were competently transformed with cloned exogenous genes. Because it forms functional myofibrils, the RMo cell line constitutes a useful model system for studying the cell biology and biochemistry of proteins involved in contractile apparatus assembly and muscle disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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