Cellular heterogeneity in a tissue culture cell line derived from a human bladder carcinoma

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Abstract

To study heterogeneity in a cell line derived from a human bladder carcinoma (EJ), 7 clones were isolated at low passage and examined for differences in culture behaviour, ability to grow in agar and tumorigenicity in nude mice. The parent EJ line had several distinct chromosome populations (both diploid and tetraploid), grew in agar and produced tumours in nude mice. Three of the clones had pseudodiploid modes and 4 had either hypo- or hypertetraploid modes. The 7 clones had 5 marker chromosomes in common but the combination of other marker chromosomes made each clone unique. No significant difference was found between the clones in the in vitro growth rate although analysis of in vitro culture behaviour showed heterogeneity in the pattern of cell movement on plastic substratum. Three clones were composed of static cells, one clone had very mobile cells, the other clones had rates of movement intermediate between the two. Differences were also found in the packing density of the cloned cells and in the cell size. All 7 clones grew in agar but heterogeneity was seen between the clones as shown by widely varying colony-forming efficiencies (0.5-13%). One clone had a high colony-forming ability in agar but failed to produce tumours in nude mice. The other clones were tumorigenic regardless of colony-forming efficiency in agar. Specific chromosome abnormalities were found to be associated with growth in agar and tumorigenicity but not with the growth pattern or the rate of movement of the cloned cells in culture.

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