A gastric choriocarcinoma cell line synthesizing human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) was established in 1971 by Oboshi et al. and was found to possess human placental alkaline phosphatase. The present paper also deals with the relationship between the cell growth and HCG secretion and with cellular localization of HCG and human placental alkaline phosphatase by cytochemical and ultrastructural methods. This cell line was found to secrete HCG during cellular proliferation, with the maximum secretion in the stationary phase (about 1 µIU/cell/48 hr), and the hormone could be detected in a small proportion of mono- and/or multinuclear cells in both logarithmic and stationary phases. The organ-specific, heat-stable, l-phenylalanine-sensitive, immunoreactive human placental alkaline phosphatase was localized on the cell membrane of many cells. Ultrastructurally, the line consisted mainly of cytotrophoblastic and intermediate cells in the process of syncytial formation, with more or less squamous metaplasia. From these findings it was concluded that the cell line maintained the properties of trophoblastic cells from morphological and functional aspects, i.e., it was a cell line with two distinct marker substances.
This work was supported in part by Grants 90398 and 801071 from the Japanese Ministry of Education.