While the majority of cell culture studies use established cell lines, there are some instances in which primary culture is preferred. The desire to study normal terminally differentiated cell types, such as neurons, myocytes, or T cells, in vitro obviously would require primary culture, since these cell types do not divide in vivo. In addition, it has proved difficult with some dividing cells to fully maintain their differentiated function in vitro through multiple passages. Quite often, this is not the result of “dedifferentiation,” as is usually suggested, but rather is due to a deficiency in the culture conditions being used. In any case, there will always be a need to perform primary culture in order to study the properties of cells that are only recently removed from the in vivo situation in order to learn more about their functions in vivo.


Primary Culture Sertoli Cell Tissue Culture Dish Established Cell Line Clara Cell 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1998

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