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PC-12 Cells

Mark Mattson mpm at seqanal.mi.uky.edu
Tue Oct 12 17:01:57 EST 1993


Michael I Sandstrom (misandst at magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu) wrote:
:      I am looking for references regarding the PC-12 cell line.  What
: is the history of this line?  Where did these cells come from?  What does
: in-vitro electrophysiology et cetera really tell us about the neuron
: of the CNS?  Is this cell line capable of much differentiation?  Someone
: please direct me to the appropriate literature (review papers etc.).
: Thanks in advance!

: ____________________________
: Michael Sandstrom
: Neuroscience Program, The Ohio State University
: E-mail Internet: misandst at magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu

Gee Mike, at the expense of sounding patronizing, the PC12 line probably
has more literature baggage than any other cell line used in the neurosciences.
If you pick up any issue of Neuron, you'll probably average 3 papers utilizing
PC12s.  But the classic refs are: PNAS 73:2424, Science 229:393 and EMBO 2:
643-648.

The "PC" stands for pheochromocytoma; these cells were cloned out of a rat
adrenal tumor.  They seem to have gotten transformed at a point in
their differentiation from the neural crest such that they retain the ability
of chromaffin cells to differentiate into cells that closely resemble
cholinergic, sympathetic neurons.  This differentiation can be stimulated by
either nerve growth factor (NGF) or basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF and 
is probably facilitated by reductions of serum conc.  The differentiation is 
morphological (neurite initiation and extension) and physiological (ChAT 
expression, ion channel alterations, etc.).  The existence of variants (e.g.,
lacking NGF high-affinity binding, containing dominant-negative mutants of 
Ras, etc.) have been instrumental in delineating NGF signal transduction 
pathways. 

Best regards,
Steven W. Barger, Ph.D.
Sanders-Brown Center on Aging



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