Neuroblastoma cell lines--a versatile in vitro model in neurobiology

Int J Neurosci. 2001 Aug;108(1-2):109-26. doi: 10.3109/00207450108986509.


Neuroblastoma (NB) cell lines are transformed, neural crest derived cells, capable of unlimited proliferation in vitro. These cell lines retain the ability of differentiation into neuronal cell types on treatment with various agents. This ability of NB cells to proliferate as well as to differentiate makes it an excellent in vitro system for various studies. This review article focuses on the applications and potential uses of murine and human NB cell lines. NB cells are extensively used for testing neurotoxicity of putative drugs such as antimalarial or anticancer agents. NB cell lines have wide applications in virus research to understand various aspects of virus-host cell interactions at the molecular and cellular levels. They have been used to dissect the relationships between proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. This feature has been useful in understanding the pediatric cancer--neuroblastoma and for development of newer therapies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Testing Alternatives*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Division
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Neuroblastoma* / metabolism
  • Neuroblastoma* / pathology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured*
  • Virus Physiological Phenomena