Three different mouse neuroblastoma cell lines (S20Y, N2CL10, N115) were examined for acetylcholinesterase activity, ganglioside composition, cell processes, and affinity for protargol silver (i.e., argyrophilia). Assays were made on cloned cells, corresponding tumors which developed after subcutaneous injection of A J strain male mice with 2 × 106 cells, and primary and secondary cultures. Acetylcholinesterase activity was present in all cells assayed, with maximal activity noted in cloned cells. Ganglioside patterns of neuroblastoma cells differed from those of neural cells, but remained qualitatively unchanged for a given cell line grown in vivo or in vitro. Some cells were stained with protargol silver in primary cultures, but few cells in cloned or secondary cultures, or those in in vivo tissues, were impregnated with protargol silver. These findings show that while neuroblastoma cell lines maintain some neuronal characteristics (i.e., high acetylcholinesterase levels, cell processes), they do not express other accepted neuronal properties (i.e., ganglioside patterns, argyrophilia), and suggest that direct analogies between normal neurons and "differentiated" neuroblastoma cells should be made with caution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-165
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1978

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cell Biology


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