Incorrect strain information for mouse cell lines: sequential influence of misidentification on sublines

In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 2017 Mar;53(3):225-230. doi: 10.1007/s11626-016-0104-3. Epub 2016 Nov 14.


Misidentification or cross-contamination of cell lines can cause serious issues. Human cell lines have been authenticated by short tandem repeat profiling; however, mouse cell lines have not been adequately assessed. In this study, mouse cell lines registered with the JCRB cell bank were examined by simple sequence length polymorphism (SSLP) analysis to identify their strains. Based on comparisons with 7 major inbred strains, our results revealed their strains in 80 of 90 cell lines. However, 12 of the 80 cell lines (15%) were found to differ from registered information. Of them, 4 cell lines originated from the same mouse, which had been generated through mating between two different inbred strains. The genotype of the mouse sample had not been examined after the backcross, leading to strain misidentification in those cell lines. Although 8 other cell lines had been established as sublines of a BALB/c cell line, their SSLP profiles are similar to a Swiss cell line. This affects differences in genotypes between inbred and outbred strains. Because the use of inbred samples and interbreeding between strains are not involved in human materials, our results suggest that the cause and influence of misidentification in mouse cell lines are different from those in human.

Keywords: Cell culture; Cell line profile; Simple sequence length polymorphism (SSLP); Strain identification.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line / classification*
  • Genotype*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C / genetics*
  • Microsatellite Repeats / genetics*