The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 40: 591 - 597 (1996)

Vol 40, Issue 3

A neural precursor cell line derived from murine teratocarcinoma

Published: 1 June 1996

N Hasgekar, D Saranath, R Seshadri, L Krishnaveni, S Ghosh and V S Lalitha

Neuro-Oncology Division, Tata Memorial Centre, Parel, Bombay, India.


A cell line NT with phenotypic features of neural precursor cells has been established from an embryo-derived teratocarcinoma in Swiss mouse where, on serial transplantation, the developmental potential becomes restricted to neural pathway. All the cells are positive for nestin (a marker of neuroepithelial stem cells). Many of them are also positive for NFP and/or GFAP. Moreover there is a gradual decrease from 75% to 50% in reactivity for alkaline phosphatase, a marker for EC cells with repeated passages. The bipotential nature, and the probable decline of EC cells suggest that NT is a neural precursor cell line. The cells have doubling time of 12 h with a plating efficiency of 50%. The cells form colonies in soft agar within 7 days and tumorigenicity in syngeneic mice is lost after 70th passage. However, after 70 passages cells do form tumors in nude mice within 5 days and these tumors exhibit better differentiated morphology than the tumors in syngeneic mice. All the other characteristics remain stable. The myc and ras family of oncogenes do not show any alterations in early or late passages. This cell line may therefore be considered as a differentiated cell line derived from teratocarcinoma.

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