Multiple Cell Lines from the Same Individual

In response to requests from the scientific research community for multiple cell lines from a single individual, the NIGMS Human Genetic Cell Repository has assembled a number of collections of multiple cell lines as described below. All cell lines from an individual have been assayed for identity using genotyping by microsatellites (Description). Cell lines have also passed standard quality control tests for viability after cryopreservation and freedom from mycoplasma and other microbiological contamination. DNA is available from all cell lines either through the NIGMS catalog or by special request. Ordering Instructions can be found Here.

Cell Lines from Neonatal Foreskins (Melanocyte, Keratinocyte, and Fibroblasts). Foreskin was collected and used to establish cell lines representing a variety of cell types from each individual. Ideally, fibroblast, melanocyte and keratinocyte cell lines are available from each individual foreskin. In some cases, less than three cell types were established successfully from the same individual. The designation of fibroblast is based on positive staining for vimentin and the morphological appearance of the cell line. The designation of keratinocyte means that 80% or more cells in the cell line stained positively for pancytokeratin. A cell line in which at least 80% of the cells stained positively for HMB45 (gp100) is designated as a melanocyte cell line. It is anticipated that these matched cell lines will be useful in examining the process of differentiation and for deriving induced pluripotent stem cells. Additional information about these cell lines may be found in the following publication by Shirley et al (PMID 22374857): Chromosomal variation in lymphoblastoid cell lines.

Multiple EBV-transformed Lymphoblast Cell Lines from Individuals. EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCL) are routinely used as a renewable source of DNA and for studies of genomics and gene expression. With the advent of technology to thoroughly catalogue genetic variation in the human genome, several questions remain to be answered regarding the utility of LCL for genetic research. Does the transformation process 1) alter the genome of the B-lymphocyte; 2) result in consistent and reproducible changes in gene expression; and 3) alter the epigenome of the host cell? These basic questions address the fidelity of the LCL as a substitute for the “parent” lymphocyte. NIGMS has created a resource to address these questions and others. Five EBV-transformed cell lines were established from each of six donors. Each cell line was also genotyped and the data was analyzed and reported in the following publication by Shirley et al (PMID 22374857): Chromosomal variation in lymphoblastoid cell lines.


Paired Fibroblast and EBV-transformed Lymphoblast Cell Lines. In many cases, a skin biopsy and a peripheral blood sample are collected from the donor for the establishment of cell lines. These cell lines represent a variety of different diagnoses, as well as apparently healthy individuals. They may be useful in teasing apart epigenomic alterations introduced by EBV-transformation and in gene expression studies. If a single individual has more than one cell line available within the NIGMS collection, all of these lines will have been assigned the same “family number”. This allows them to be grouped together in searches that sort by family number. The "family member number" will also be the same for the fibroblast and lymphoblast cell line derived from the same individual. Matched pairs of cell lines from a single individual will also be cross-referenced each to the other within their catalog remarks. If a cell line has no family number, it is the only cell line available from that individual.

Example of a search result :



1. Browse NIGMS collection by DISEASE
2. Click on disease of interest; for example, Major affective disorder
3. Examine Family number for related individuals or cell lines
4. Click on family number for a list of all samples from this family, including multiple cell lines from the same individual