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Cardiac structure and functionare commonly studied using primary culture of neonatal and adult cardiac myocyte. However, their inability to divide and retain their differentiated phenotype in culture limits their use.

Established from a mouse atrial myocyte tumour, HL-1 cells share similar characteristics with primary cultures of cardiac myocytes. They have the ability to proliferate while keeping a differentiated cardiomyocyte phenotype in culture (this allows the use of specific molecular tools as RNA interference). However, there are concerns about their genetic stability and some studies have shown the cells to contain a functionally heterogeneous population.

The team from Imperial College isolated homogeneous and stable clones of HL-1 cell lines - thereby excluding any differences due to cellular heterogeneity of the original cell line – that display phenotypic characteristics consistent with cardiac cells.

Clones 3 and 6 appear to be most promising for cardiac research. These cells exhibit resting membrane potentials comparable to those recorded from cells of atrial origin. Furthermore, the shapes of the action potentials observed in clones 3 and 6 were comparable to those of mouse adult atrial cells. Please refer to Dias et al. 2014 for further information (reference listed under references tab).

Video: http://wwwf.imperial.ac.uk/imedia/content/view/4682/rotor-in-hl16


-         Stable model for studies of conduction in atrial tissue and of components of the excitation and excitation-contraction coupling processes. Allows the study of both action potential generation and propagation.

-         These cell line also spontaneously initiates self-sustaining rotors as seen in the false color movie below thereby allowing to examine the mechanisms of rotor generation and maintenance. Many common clinical arrhythmias are attributable to rotor formation.

-      The cells can be genetically manipulated (e.g. siRNA transfection) and so can provide a substrate for experiments involving the manipulation of key proteins implicated in the above functions or enable pharmacological screening. 

Growth medium: 

Claycomb medium supplemented with 10% foetal bovine serum, 4 mm L-glutamine and 100 µM norepinephrine. Can be supplemented with penicillin/streptomycin. 


Internal case number: 7556

Stable clones of HL-1 myocyte cell lines

Isolated homogeneous and stable clones of HL-1 cell lines

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