Being immortalized ?

P. Friedl di58 at
Mon Jun 12 03:59:50 EST 1995

In article <3r9tge$8hi at>, wmoens at (Moens William) says:
>Hello Netters,
>Primary cultures of mammalian cells usually die after a certain number of passag
>es in vitro. In rodent primaries, some cells may survive to the crisis and behav
>e as "immortal". This extremely rarely happens with human primaries.
>Therefore "immortalisation" vectors are used to get immortalisation of human 
>primary cultures.
>In fact I have difficulties to catch exactly on which physiological/molecular fa
>cts one can declare a successful "immortalisation" of such cultures.
>Are they mutants of apoptosis, then which are the criteria to check?
>Are they surviving cells with or without normal cell cycling rates?
>From the litterature I've read there seems to be as much meanings of "immortalis
>ation" as they are labs and scientific background of the authors.
>Could we have a debate about that?
>W. Moens
>Institute of Hygiene & Epidemiology
>Brussels Belgium
>wmoens at

"immortal" means the potential of indefinite cell divisions. Of course this
can't be proven. It is commonly accepted that a cell line is immortal if 
it could be passaged for more than 150 cumulative population doublings with
reproducible generation times and final cell densities in confluent

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