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Epithelial Cells: Fluorescence Digital Image Gallery

The Olympus Microscopy Resource Center galleries include images of fluorescent specimens, as well as darkfield, phase contrast, and Hoffman modulation contrast photomicrographs. In addition, the gallery features streaming video and images from featured microscopists.

Female Rat Kangaroo Kidney Epithelial Cells (PtK1 Line)

The PtK1 cell line was derived in 1962 from the kidney of a normal adult female Potorous tridactylus, a species of rat kangaroo prevalent in Australia. The epithelial line is believed to be the first permanent cell line of marsupial origin to be established. PtK1 cells are positive for keratin by immunoperoxidase and fluorescence staining and are susceptible to vesicular stomatitis (Indiana strain). PtK1 epithelial cells are resistant, however, to poliovirus 2 and are also negative for reverse transcriptase, indicating the lack of integral retrovirus genomes. The cell line has been primarily utilized in mitotic research because of the low number, large size, and distinct morphology of the chromosomes of the species from which it was established.

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Human Skin Epidermoid Carcinoma Epithelial Cells (A-431 Line)

The A-431 cell line, which was derived from an epidermoid carcinoma excised from the skin tissue of an 85-year-old female, is one of a succession of cell lines established from solid tumors by a research team led by D. J. Giard. The epithelial line is tumorigenic, forming rapidly growing subcutaneous tumors in immunosuppressed mice and colonies in soft agar. Also known as cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, epidermoid carcinoma of the skin is a malignant tumor of epidermal keratinocytes, a condition that has increased in frequency considerably over the last century, perhaps due in part to the ongoing depletion of the protective ozone layer.

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Madin-Darby Canine Kidney Epithelial Cells (MDCK Line)

S. H. Madin and N. B. Darby initiated the MDCK line in 1958 by from the kidney tissue of an adult female cocker spaniel. The cells exhibit typical epithelial morphology and stain positive for keratin. MDCK cells demonstrate susceptibility to a number of viruses, including infectious canine hepatitis, coxsackievirus B5, reoviruses 2 and 3, vesicular stomatitis (Indiana strain), adenoviruses 4 and 5, vesicular exanthema of swine, and vaccinia. The cells, which are negative for the enzyme reverse transcriptase, are known to be resistant to poliovirus 2 and coxsackieviruses B3 and B4. The MDCK line is a popular tool for studies focusing on the processing of beta-amyloid precursor protein and its proteolytic products.

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Madin-Darby Ovine Kidney Epithelial Cells (MDOK Line)

The Madin-Darby ovine kidney (MDOK) cell line was derived from the renal tissue of a male sheep. The line exhibits typical epithelial morphology and is susceptible to several viruses including vesicular stomatitis (Indiana and New Jersey strains), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, and sheep bluetongue virus. Epithelial cells generally exist in the body in sheets covering the organs and other internal and external surfaces that may come into contact with foreign materials. Usually the cells contain a relatively large amount of cytoplasm and a significant quantity of granules. The function of the cells is various, some acting in an absorptive or protective role, while others primarily act as secretory cells.

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Male Rat Kangaroo Kidney Epithelial Cells (PtK2 Line)

The widely used PtK2 cell line was established from the kidney tissue of an adult male rat kangaroo (Potorous tridactylus), a long-nosed, marsupial that is fairly common in Australia. The epithelial line is positive for the tough, insoluble intermediate filament protein keratin by immunoperoxidase staining, but is negative for reverse transcriptase, indicating the lack of integral retrovirus genomes. PtK2 cells are susceptible to coxsackievirus A9, herpes simplex, vaccinia, and vesicular stomatitis (Ogden strain). The cells are resistant, however, to adenovirus 5, coxsackievirus B5, and poliovirus 2. The PtK2 epithelial cell line is utilized for a variety of applications, but primarily for research in the field of mitosis.

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Mink Uterus Endometrium Epithelial Cells (GMMe Line)

The GMMe cell line was established by the stable transfection of endometrial tissue of an adult female mink (Mustela vison) using a plasmid vector encoding the simian virus 40 (SV40) large T-antigen driven by the human beta-actin promoter. The cells were cotransfected with a second plasmid vector to confer neomycin resistance and were selected in medium containing G418. The cuboidal GMMe cells, which exhibit epithelial characteristics, are strongly positive for cytokeratin and weakly positive for vimentin. The line is also positive for alkaline phosphatase, but negative for desmin. GMME cells have been used in co-culture with mink embryos in obligate diapause to enhance the length and frequency of embryo survival in vitro, although the mink stromal line, GMMs, was utilized in this same manner with a greater rate of success.

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Mouse Embryo Teratocarcinoma Epithelial Cells (P19 Line)

The P19 cell line was derived from an embryonal carcinoma induced in a C3H/He mouse strain of the species Mus musculus. Similar to other embryonal carcinoma cells, cells of the P19 line are capable of differentiating into an array of cell types and are, therefore, described as pluripotent. Though they can be maintained and propagated in tissue culture in an undifferentiated state, when exposed to 500 nM of retinoic acid, P19 cells can be induced to differentiate into neural and glial-like cells. In the presence of 0.5 to 1.0 percent dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), however, the cells differentiate to form cardiac and skeletal muscle-like elements, but do not form neural or glial-like cells. When introduced simultaneously to both DMSO and retinoic acid, P19 cells differentiate as if they were exposed only to retinoic acid.

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Pig Kidney Epithelial Cells (LLC-PK1 Line)

The LLC-PK1 cell line was derived from the kidney of a normal, healthy male pig (Sus scrofa) that was between 3 and 4 weeks of age. The pig was a member of the Hampshire breed, which was initially imported to America from Hampshire County, England in the early 1800s. Commonly utilized in laboratories around the world, the LLC-PK1 line exhibits typical epithelial morphology. Cellular products of the LLC-PK1 porcine kidney line include plasminogen activator, a substance that stimulates fibrinolysis. In recent years, plasminogen activator has been included in drugs used in thrombosis therapies since it facilitates the dissolution of small blood clots. The cells also produce large amounts of cytokeratin. The LLC-PK1 line is often used as a model for epithelial tissue, as well as in a wide spectrum of pharmacologic and metabolic research investigations.

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Normal Rat Kidney Epithelial Cells (NRK Line)

The NRK cell line was derived from the kidney of a rat of the species Rattus norvegicus. The cells grow adherently and exhibit epithelial morphology. Epithelial cells are cells that exist in the body in sheets covering the organs and other internal and external surfaces that may come into contact with foreign materials. Typically epithelial cells contain a relatively large amount of cytoplasm and a significant quantity of granules. The function of the cells is various, some acting in an absorptive or protective role, while others primarily act as secretory cells. The epithelial cells of the kidneys chiefly fall into this latter category, playing an important role in the storage and subsequent secretion of various excretory materials.

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Tahr Ovary Epithelial Cells (HJ1.Ov Line)

The HJ1.Ov cell line was derived from the ovary tissue of a normal and healthy female Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), which is a relative of the wild goat specially adapted to life in the rugged, mountainous environment of the Himalayas. Developed at The Naval Biosciences Laboratory (NBL) in Oakland, California, continuous cultures of HJ1.Ov cells exhibit typical epithelial morphology and grow adherently to glass and polymer surfaces in monolayer culture. Epithelial cells comprise the avascular tissues that line both the interior and exterior surfaces of the body and its organs. Also, the secretory portions of glands and their ducts are formed from invaginated epithelial cells. Though there are many different types of epithelial cells in the body that may be arranged in a number of ways, the cells are always contiguous with one another so that they create an uninterrupted barrier.

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Human Bone Osteosarcoma Cells (U-2 OS)

The U-2 OS cell line, originally known as the 2T line, was derived from the bone tissue of a fifteen-year-old human female suffering from osteosarcoma. Established by J. Ponten and E. Saksela in 1964, the original cells were taken from a moderately differentiated sarcoma of the tibia. U-2 OS cells exhibit typical epithelial morphology and viruses were not detected in the line during co-cultivation with WI-38 cells or in CF tests against simian virus 40 (SV40), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), or adenoviruses. Mycoplasma contamination in major stocks of the U-2 OS line was detected and subsequently eliminated in 1972. Cells are positive for insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and insulin-like growth factor II (IGF II) receptors and express a number of antigens, including blood type A, Rh+, HLA A2, Aw30, B12, Bw35, and B40(+/-).

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Human Cervical Adenocarcinoma Cells (HeLa Line)

The HeLa line is one of the best-known cell lines in the world. Derived in 1951 from an adenocarcinoma of the cervix found in a 31-year-old woman (Henrietta Lacks), HeLa cells were the first human cells to survive indefinitely in the laboratory. The cells exhibit epithelial morphology and grow adherently, reproducing an entire generation about every 24 hours. Cellular products of the HeLa line include keratin and lysophosphatidylcholine (lyso-PC), which induces AP-1 activity and c-jun N-terminal kinase activity (JNK1) by a protein kinase C-independent pathway. HeLa cells have been reported to contain human papilloma virus 18 (HPV-18) sequences. P53 expression in the cells has been described as low, though levels of pRB (retinoblastoma suppressor) are apparently normal.

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Human Lung Carcinoma Cells (A-549 Line)

The A-549 cell line was originally cultivated in 1972 by D. J. Giard, along with several collaborators, from the human lung carcinoma of a 58-year-old Caucasian male. The line is commonly used to investigate a wide range of respiratory ailments, such as viral infections capable of inducing asthma, tissue damage linked to asbestos exposure, and smoking-related emphysema. Adherent and epithelial, A-549 cells are positive for keratin by immunoperoxidase staining, but are negative for reverse transcriptase, indicating the lack of integral retrovirus genomes. Studies by a team led by M. Lieber have revealed that A-549 cells are able to synthesize lecithin with a high percentage of desaturated fatty acids utilizing the cytidine diphosphocholine pathway.

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