pheochromocytoma cell lines

Samuel A. Green sag4y at
Mon Jul 3 11:58:43 EST 1995

First and foremost, PC12 cells are very unstable.  After 30
passages or so, they exhibit 5 or more distinct morphologies.
So, you would be best off to decide what you want them for, and
get cells from the group(s) reporting the most relevant data
for THEIR PC12 cells.  Then, grow up a bunch and freeze them
away.  Throw out cells after 25 passes or so, and thaw a new

Having said that, the cells were originally grown in RPMI 1640
with 10% horse serum and 5% fetal bovine serum.  Many groups
use DME (high glucose) instead of RPMI, and some use less
serum.  These cells don't grow nearly as fast as CHO or NRK
cells, and they don't like being at low density.  Cut 1:3 or
1:4 every 3-4 days, or use 20 - 30% conditioned medium for low
density (subcloning, etc.)  The cells are not very adherent
(except for subpopulations selected for adherence), and can be
passaged simply by washing with PBS/EDTA, then triturating in a
small volume of the same (a 200ul pipet tip jammed onto a 2 ml
plastic pipet works fine).  Corollary:  if your experiment
involves multiple washes, it helps to plate the cells on
polylysine-coated plates (or coverslips).

It is unusual to find anyone using PC12 cells as a
pheochromocytoma line.  Funny, because they really aren't
neurons, even when grown in NGF.  

If you are interested in more specifics, or how to induce a
more chromaffin-like phenotype, e mail me for more info.

More information about the Cellbiol mailing list