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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Establishment and characterization of conditionally immortalized organ of corti cell lines.

A culture of cells was isolated from the organ of Corti of 2-week-old H-2Kb-tsA58 (Immortomouse) transgenic mice. All cells of these mice harbor a mutant of the simian virus 40 A-gene, encoding a thermolabile large T-antigen (Tag) protein. At 33 degrees C the Tag protein is functional and induces cell proliferation, but at 39 degrees C it is rapidly denatured and inactivated. Isolated organ of Corti cells growing at 33 degrees C were predominantly small, rounded or fusiform and proliferated rapidly. When moved to 39 degrees C, the cells reduced their rate of proliferation and differentiated into specific morphological phenotypes. Four cell lines were cloned by limiting dilution and characterized by immunofluorescence microscopy and Western blot. The cell lines, named OC-k1, OC-k2, OC-k3 and OC-k4, have been passaged at least 50 times with retention of a stable phenotype. These cell lines were all positive for the neuroepithelial precursor cell marker nestin and for the inner ear cell marker OCP2. In addition, the cells showed reactivity to epithelial and neuronal cell markers, but with a pattern of protein expression different for each clone and different between cells of the same clone growing at 33 degrees C or 39 degrees C. Some of the clones exhibited asymmetric cell division which is a characteristic commonly ascribed to stem cells. These cell lines can be used advantageously to study mechanisms and signals involved in the control of cell differentiation and morphogenesis of the mammalian inner ear and to isolate inner ear specific proteins.[1]


  1. Establishment and characterization of conditionally immortalized organ of corti cell lines. Kalinec, F., Kalinec, G., Boukhvalova, M., Kachar, B. Cell Biol. Int. (1999) [Pubmed]
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