What are 3T3/A31 cells?

Tom Anderson via methods%40net.bio.net (by ucgatan from ucl.ac.uk)
Fri Aug 3 13:08:13 EST 2007

On Fri, 3 Aug 2007, WS wrote:

> All is in the subject. I guess they are of murine origin, but what means
> A31?

It's derived from porcine dorsal tissue? [1]

ATCC knows about 3T3/A31 [2], saying:

"The BALB/3T3 clone A31 is one of several cell lines (see ATCC CCL-164,
BALB/3T12) developed by S.A. Aaronson and G.T. Todaro in 1968 from
disaggregated 14- to 17-day-old BALB/c mouse embryos [PubMed: 4301006].
The cells are extremely sensitive to contact inhibition of cell division,
grow at a high dilution, exhibit a low saturation density and are highly
susceptible to transformation in tissue culture by the oncogenic DNA virus
SV40 and murine sarcoma virus [PubMed: 4306523]."

I would guess the "A31" designation just an arbitrary label. Batch A,
clone 31 or such.

That first paper is:

Development of 3T3-like lines from Balb-c mouse embryo cultures:
transformation susceptibility to SV40 - S. A. Aaronson, G. J. Todaro (Oct
1968); J. Cell. Physiol. 72(2):141

Which looks like the definitive source to me. Sadly, it's not online.


[1] This is a joke based on the route of the A31 trunk road in Surrey.

[2] http://www.lgcpromochem-atcc.com/common/catalog/numSearch/numResults.cfm?atccNum=CCL-163

Tom Anderson, MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, UCL, London WC1E 6BT
(t) +44 (20) 76797264   (f) +44 (20) 76797805   (e) thomas.anderson from ucl.ac.uk

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