Coriell Institute
Explanations of Cell Types
(Click on the type to be linked with its description.)

Cell Types occurring in the catalogs:

Amniotic fluid-derived cell line:    Cells isolated from amniotic fluid samples are commonly used in prenatal diagnosis. These cells are thought to be sloughed from the fetal amnion, skin, and alimentary, repiratory and urogenitory tracts. Consequently, both fibroblasts and epithelial cell types can be present in cultures derived from amniotic fluid.

Chorionic villus-derived cell line:    Chorionic villus cultures are established from the mesenchyme core cells of the villi after first removing the trophoblast layers by dissection followed by enzymatic dissociation of the core.

Endothelial

  • Endothelial, arterial:    Derived from, or pertaining to an artery, a blood vessel carrying oxygenated blood away from the heart; lined with a single layer of endothelial cells, the outer walls have smooth muscle and are innervated by the sympathetic nervous system.
  • Endothelial, venous:    Derived from or pertaining to a vein, a blood vessel that returns blood from the microvasculature (i.e., after release of oxygen to the tissues) to the heart; venous walls are thinner and less elastic than those of artery.

Epithelial

  • Epithelial, lens:    The cellular covering of the lens of the eye.
  • Epithelial, mammary:    Derived from, or pertaining to the cells of the ducts, lobules, and alveoli of the mammary (milk-producing) gland of female mammals.
  • Epithelial, pigmented (or pigmented retinal epithelial cell):    Melanin-bearing cells just posterior to the rods and cones, originating from the outer layer of the embryologic optic cup. [from "International Dictionary of Medicine and Biology", Sidney I. Landau, Editor-in-Chief. In three volumes. Volume 1, pp488-499, 1986. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.]

Erythroleukemic cell:    Abnormal precursor (virally transformed) of mouse erythrocytes that can be grown in culture and induced to differentiate by treatment with, for example, DMSO.

Fibroblast Cell Line:    A propagated culture of cells exhibiting fibroblast-like morphology after at least one subculture. Fibroblast cell lines may be established at CCR by outgrowth of undifferentiated mesodermal cells from a biopsy or identified by a submitter as a fibroblast cell line. Cell morphology of a fibroblast cell line will vary somewhat with the culture conditions and with the age of the culture or the age of the cell line, but generally the fibroblastic morphology is spindle shaped (bipolar) or stellate (multipolar); usually arranged in parallel arrays at confluence in contact-inhibited cultures. These cells are migratory with processes exceeding the nuclear diameter by threefold or more.

Hybridoma:    A transformed cell line derived by fusing a myeloma cell with a normal B-lymphocyte. Produces a single kind of antibody determined by the normal fusion partner. As a result, hybridomas are used to produce monoclonal antibodies.

Keratinocyte:    Skin cell, of the keratinized layer of epidermis; epithelial cells that express the characteristic intermediate filament proteins cytokeratins, and other skin-specific proteins to form a protective barrier.

Kidney-derived cell line:    Cell isolated from kidney tissue. Specific tissue type was not specified.

Lymphocyte:

  • B-Lymphocyte:    A propagated culture of cells exhibiting lymphoblast-like morphology after at least one subculture. B-Lymphoblast cell lines are established at CCR by transformation of B-lymphocytes isolated as peripheral blood mononuclear cells with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) using phytohemaglutinin as a mitogen or identified by a submitter as a B-lymphoblast cell line. These lines are usually polyclonal in derivation. The lymphoblastoid morphology is small (7-9 micron) round cells that grow as loose aggregates in suspension.
  • T-Lymphocyte:    A propagated culture of cells exhibiting lymphoblast-like morphology after at least one subculture. T-Lymphoblast cell lines are established at CCR by transformation of T-lymphocytes isolated as peripheral blood mononuclear cells with human T-cell leukemic virus (HTLV) using interleukin-2 as a mitogen or identified by a submitter as a T-lymphoblast cell line. These lines are usually polyclonal in derivation. The lymphoblastoid morphology is small (7-9 micron) round cells that grow as loose aggregates in suspension.

Mesothelial:    Derived from, or pertaining to the mesothelium, a simple squamous epithelium of mesodermal origin. It lines the peritoneal, pericardial and pleural cavities and the synovial space of joints. The cells may be phagocytic.

Microcell hybrid:    A hybrid cell produced by the fusion of a micro cell with the cell of another species. Microcells contain only a portion of the genome and cytoplasm of the cell from which they are derived. Microcells are produced by colcemid treatment to promote nuclear fragmentation into micronuclei followed by cytochalasin B treatment to extrude these micronuclei which are finally sheared from the cell by centrifugal force during centrifugation. Consequently each microcell contains only one or a few human chromosomes. The subset of microcell hybrids with a chromosome that carries a selectable marker may be then be isolated.

Myeloma cell:    Neoplastic plasma cell (a white blood cell that produces and secretes a specific antibody, or immunoglobulin protein). The proliferating plasma cells often replace all the others within the marrow, leading to immune deficiency, and frequently there is destruction of the bone cortex. Because they are monoclonal in origin they secrete a monoclonal immunoglobulin. Bence-Jones proteins are monoclonal immunoglobulin light chains overproduced by myeloma cells and excreted in the urine. Myeloma cell lines are used for producing hybridomas in raising monoclonal antibodies.

Smooth muscle:    Non-striated muscle tissue in vertebrates made up from long tapering cells that may be anything from 20-500 microns long. Smooth muscle is generally involuntary, and differs from striated muscle in the much higher actin/myosin ratio, the absence of conspicuous sarcomeres, and the ability to contract to a much smaller fraction of its resting length. Smooth muscle cells are found particularly in blood vessel walls (vascular smooth muscle), surrounding the intestine (particularly the gizzard in birds), and in the uterus. The contractile system and its control resemble those of motile tissue cells (e.g. fibroblasts, leucocytes), and antibodies against smooth muscle myosin will cross-react with myosin from tissue cells, whereas antibodies against skeletal muscle myosin will not.

Somatic cell hybrid:    A hybrid cell produced by the fusion of two somatic cells. Somatic cell hybrids are commonly produced for three reasons: 1) determination whether two mutations are in the same or distinct complementation groups from two cell lines; 2) production of specialized anitbodies (hybridomas); 3) production of inter-species hybrids to isolate particular chromosomes or chromosome segments for the assignment of genes first to chromosomes (NIGMS Map 2 Monochromosomal Hybrids), subsequently to specific chromosome segments (NIGMS Chromosome Regional Mapping Panels Hybrids) and finally to relate gene structure to function by the correlation of deleted or duplicated chromosomal segments to altered phenotype using hybrids constructed from human parental lines from probands with specific genetic disorders.

Tumor-derived cell line:    Cells isolated from a mass of neoplastic cells, i.e., a growth formed by abnormal cellular proliferation.

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