HepG2s looking strange

Chris Jewell cj at ucc.ie
Sat Aug 22 10:59:50 EST 1998

I am growing HepG2 cells in DMEM with 10% serum and no antibiotics, and
they have been growing well for many passages. However in the last couple
of weeks I have noticed a slow but definite change in their morphology.
There appears to be a spindle like feature growing from some of the cells,
indeed, some of the cells appear to have changed into cells which have a
shape reminiscent to neural cells!!
The cytoplasm of the cells has become more granular, and some cells have
finger like projections extending from them.
We have ruled out bacteria and fungal infections, changes in media and
serum. Does anybody have a suggestion to what is going on. Could this be a
mycoplasma infection??
Do these cells transorm/alter after a known number of passages?
Do they have a known life span??

All suggestions are welcome.
Dr. Chris Jewell,
University College Cork, Ireland.

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