In Vitro Transformation Assays Using Diploid Syrian Hamster Embryo Cell Strains

  • John O. Rundell
  • Judith A. Poiley
Part of the Contemporary Biomedicine book series (CB, volume 4)


Freshly prepared, diploid Syrian hamster embryo (SHE) cells, when plated at low density, will form colonies against a background of lethally irradiated homologous feeder cells (1, 3, 5, 8–10). These colonies exhibit a variety of cellular morphologies, but consist of highly ordered populations sometimes exhibiting contact inhibition and usually little or no evidence of perimarginal cellular crossing-over. In contrast, cells treated in vitro with chemical carcinogens may give rise to colony morphologies exhibiting evidence of cellular disorder, including significant perimarginal cell criss-crossing, characteristic of the transformed phenotype (1, 9). This morphological phenotype may occur in untreated cultures, but with extremely low frequency, and has been shown to be associated with the expression of malignant properties by carcinogen-transformed colony isolates (4, 6, 8). These observations form the basis for an assay system that has been applied to investigations into the mechanism of neoplastic transformation as well as the evaluation of chemicals for their genotoxic potential. The following sections describe the methodologies employed in these studies and are intended to provide investigators unfamiliar with cell transformation with the SHE assay’s basic technical framework in relation to the 3T3 and 10T1/2 assays.


Feeder Cell Cloning Efficiency Transformation Assay Syrian Hamster Embryo Positive Control Treatment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    DiPaolo, J. A., J. Nat. Cancer Inst. 64, 1485 (1980).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    DiPaolo, J. A., and Donovan, P. J., Expt. Cell Res. 48, 361 (1967).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    DiPaolo, J. A., Donovan, P. J., and Nelson, R. L., J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 42, 867 (1969).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    DiPaolo, J. A., Nelson, R. L., and Donovan, P. J., Science 165, 917 (1969).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    DiPaolo, J. A., Nelson, R. L., and Donovan, P. J., Cancer Res. 31, 1118 (1971).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Doniger, J., and DiPaolo, J. A., Cancer Res. 40, 582 (1980).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dunkel, V. C., Pienta, R. J., Sivak, A., and Traul, K. A., J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 67, 1303 (1981).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pienta, R. J., A transformation bioassay employing cryopreserved hamster embryo cells, in Advan. Modern Env. Toxicol., Vol. 1, Mammalian Cell Transformation by Chemical Carcinogens, Mishra, N., Dunkel, V., Mehlman, M. eds., Senate Press, NJ, 1981.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pienta, R. J., Lebherz, W. B., III, and Schuman, R. F., The use of cryopreserved Syrian hamster embryo cells in a transformation test for detecting chemical carcinogens, in Short-Term Tests for Chemical Carcinogens, Stich, H., and San, R. H. S., eds., Springer-Verlag, NY, 1981.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pienta, R. J., Poiley, J. A., and Lebherz, W. B., III, Int. J. Cancer 19, 642 (1977).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Poiley, J. A., Raineri, R., and Pienta, R. J., J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 63, 519 (1970).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Schuman, R. F., Pienta, R. J., Poiley, J. A., and Lebherz, W. B., III., In Vitro 15, 730 (1979).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Umezawa, K., Hirakawa, T., Tanaka, M., Katoh, Y., and Takayama, S., Tox. Lett. 2, 23 (1978).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The HAMANA Press Inc. 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • John O. Rundell
  • Judith A. Poiley

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations