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Primary culture and mRNA analysis of human ovarian cells


Established cell lines are invaluable for studying cell and molecular biological questions. A variety of human ovarian cancer (OC) cell lines exist, however, most have acquired significant genetic alterations from their cells of origin, including deletion of important cell cycle regulatory genes. In order to analyze signaling events related to cell cycle control in human OC, we have modified existing protocols for isolating and culturing OC cells from patient ascites fluid and normal ovarian surface epithelial (OSE) cells from benign ovarian tissue sections. These cells maintain an epithelial phenotype and can be manipulated experimentally for several passages before cellular senescence. An example using TGF1 treatment of OC cells to examine signaling and target gene activation is presented.


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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mark W. Nachtigal.

Additional information

This work is supported in part by the National Cancer Institute of Canada with funds from the Canadian Cancer Society (#13631), the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, and by Cancer Research and Education (CaRE) Nova Scotia with funding from the Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University. L.D.D. is supported by the Rossetti Studentship for Cancer Research with funds from the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation, T.G.S. is supported by a CaRE Fellowship with funding from the Canadian Cancer Society, and M.W.N is a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Scholar.

Published: October 28, 2002.

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Dunfield, L.D., Shepherd, T.G. & Nachtigal, M.W. Primary culture and mRNA analysis of human ovarian cells. Biol Proced Online 4, 55–61 (2002).

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Indexing terms

  • ovary
  • ovarian neoplasm
  • cell culture
  • complementary RNA
  • Northern blotting