The maintenance of a differentiated state in cultured mouse epidermal cells

Don R. Miller, Kathy M. Hamby, David P. Allison, Susan M. Fischer, Thomas J. Slaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Previous attempts to malignantly transform epithelial cultures of mouse epidermal cells yielded continuous lines that had lost most of the morphological characteristics of the primary cultures. These lines were classified as epidermal in origin because they arose from pure epidermal cultures, had intermediate junctions (but not true desmosomes), and if tumorigenic formed undifferentiated carcinomas (not fibrosarcomas). A major drawback to these studies was that keratinizing squamous cell carcinomas were not routinely produced. In our ongoing efforts to produce tumorigenic epidermal lines that retain their differentiation, we examined several culture modifications for their effects on mouse epidermal cells. Using an enriched Waymouth's medium, we found a set of conditions that (1) allows finite mouse epidermal cells to be subcultured and (2) yields continuous lines that retain many differentiated epidermal traits. Critical conditions are a BALB/c 3T3 Clone A31 feeder layer and incubation at 31 °C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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