Origin of mouse embryonal carcinoma cells and the possibility of their direct isolation into tissue culture

in Reproduction
Martin Evans
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A few years ago teratocarcinomas and in particular the use of cultures of their stem cells—so called embryonal carcinoma cells—were not widely appreciated and it was a useful exercise to present the essential features of them as a system for the study of cell determination and differentiation. Now, however, there is even some danger that the inherent diversity of the presently available lines may lead to enthusiatic but unwarranted generalizations about the properties and behaviour of embryonic cells. In this paper I shall, therefore, only briefly outline some of the types of investigation which are facilitated by the use of embryonal carcinoma cells in culture and I shall discuss the relationship of such cells to cell lineages in the normal embryo. This paper does not attempt to provide a review of the subject which has been fairly comprehensively covered already (Stevens, 1967; Pierce, 1967; Damjanov & Solter, 1974; Martin, 1975, 1978; Graham, 1977; Hogan, 1977). Although many papers have been published since the dates of these reviews there has been little substantial or conceptual change in this field.


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