Continuous cell lines, SK-N-SH and SK-N-MC, were established in cell culture from human metastatic neuroblastoma tissue and maintained in vitro for 1 to 2 years. SK-N-SH comprises two morphologically distinctive cell types, a small spiny cell and a large epithelioid cell. SK-N-MC is composed of small fibroblast-like cells with scant cytoplasm. In monolayer culture both cell lines form disoriented growth patterns and reach high saturation densities. Population-doubling times were 44 and 32 hr for SK-N-SH and SK-N-MC, respectively. Inoculum levels of 107 cells of both lines produced tumors confirmed by histopathological examination, at frequencies of 30 to 40% in cheek pouches of conditioned Syrian hamsters. SK-N-SH cells are characterized by high dopamine-β-hydroxylase activity while SK-N-MC cells have no detectable activity. However, for SK-N-MC but not SK-N-SH, the presence of intracellular catecholamine was indicated by formaldehyde-induced fluorescence. The lines are near-diploid with several chromosomal markers; SK-N-MC cells contain double-minute chromosomes. Growth, biochemical, and cytogenetic properties confirmed that the lines comprise malignant cells of neurogenic origin.


This investigation was supported in part by National Cancer Institute Grant CA 08748 and by the Ann Marie O'Brien Neuroblastoma Fund.

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