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pheochromocytoma cell lines

Mark Bothwell mab at u.washington.edu
Tue Jun 20 13:34:44 EST 1995

The PC12 cell line is referred to in several laboratories as "the cell 
line from hell".  Among its endearing features are:

1) a doubling time of 48 to 72 hours (slower when it is at low density or 
otherwise unhappy).

2) instability.  If cells are passaged incorrectly, dedifferentiated 
variants will overgrow the culture.  These cells generally have a 
flattened morphology, loss of neural and chromaffin cell markers, and a 
doubling time of 24 hours (hence their tendency to take over the 

3) variability.  Even with due care in culture techniques, the cell line 
drifts over time.  Hence early passage cells are different from late 
passage cells, and the strain of cells in each lab is different from that 
in every other lab.

Mark Bothwell
Dept. of Physiology & Biophysics
Box 357290
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-7290
Tel: 206-543-7924
Fax: 206-543-0934

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