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Keywords:

  • Hybrid cells;
  • Motor neurons;
  • Neural cell lines;
  • Neuronal development;
  • Spinal cord

Abstract

We have developed a series of mouse-mouse neural hybrid cell lines by fusing the aminopterin-sensitive neuroblastoma N18TG2 with motor neuron-enriched embryonic day 12–14 spinal cord cells. Of 30 neuroblastoma-spinal cord (NSC) hybrids displaying a multipolar neuron-like phenotype, 10 express choline acetyltransferase, and 4 induce twitching in cocultured mouse myotubules. NSC-19, NSC-34, and their subclones express additional properties expected of motor neurons, including generation of action potentials, expression of neurofilament triplet proteins, and acetylcholine synthesis, storage, and release. In addition, NSC-34 cells induce acetylcholine receptor clusters on cocultured myotubes, and undergo a vimentin-neurofilament switch with maturation in culture, similar to that occurring in neuronal development. NSC cell lines appear to model selected aspects of motor neuron development in an immortalized clonal system. © 1992 Wiley-Liss, Inc.