C17-S1-D-T984 (to be referred to as T984) is a myogenic clonal cell line isolated from a mouse teratocarcinoma. T984 exhibits phenotypic instability since it gives rise not only to myogenic but also to fibro-adipogenic and fibroblastic clones. A cell line of each clone type has been established and studied with respect to (1) phenotypic expression and stability; and (2) growth and differentiation in serum-free and serum-supplemented media. In both respects, marked differences between the three cell lines were observed. All three cell lines respond by increased growth in serum-free media to insulin, transferrin, fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and the serum-spreading factor of Holmes. The fibroblastic and the fibro-adipogenic cell lines can both be grown indefinitely in a serum-free medium which contains the above factors. The fibro-adipogenic cell line, which differentiates in serum-supplemented medium, exhibits very limited differentiation in the absence of serum; the serum factor(s) required for adipogenic differentiation is (are) probably proteins of molecular weight superior to 10 000. In direct contrast, the myogenic cell line exhibits limited growth in serum-free medium but readily differentiates under these conditions. Moreover, myogenic differentiation could be obtained in the defined medium at very low densities and was not influenced by the addition of medium conditioned by cells seeded at high densities. Thus, in this system, muscular differentiation is apparently independent of diffusible endogenous or exogenous factors and is probably triggered by the arrest of growth. While our results do not explain the reason why T984 exhibits phenotypic instability, they do indicate that this clonal cell line and its clonal derivatives could be used to identify the factors that influence the growth and the differentiation of cells of different mesenchymal phenotypes. The possible relationship of phenotypic instability to muscular dystrophies is also discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology