We report on the establishment and characterization of 2 primary (EOM-3, EOM-29) and 3 metastatic uveal melanoma cell lines (OMM-1, OMM-2, OMM-3) and further cytogenetic characterization of a previously described primary uveal melanoma cell line (OCM-1). Only a few long-term growing primary uveal melanoma cell lines have as yet been established, while of metastatic uveal melanoma cell lines we have found no descriptions. The morphology of the in vitro cultured cells varied from spindle to epithelioid. The cell lines were characterized by immunocytochemistry, electron microscopy and cytogenetical analysis. The relative growth rate was determined by bromodeoxyuridine (BUdR) incorporation. The melanocytic origin of the cell lines was determined by positive staining with antibodies identifying melanoma-associated antigens. Melanosomes and pre-melanosomes were indeed observed by electron microscopy in all cell lines. The stem-cell karyotype was found to be normal in 3 cell lines (EOM-29, OMM-2, OMM-3) and abnormal in 3 others (EOM-3, OCM-1, OMM-1) showing a net loss of chromosome 6. The OCM-1 and the OMM-1 cell lines even demonstrated a large amount of structural chromosomal aberrations, the former being near-tetraploid and the latter triploid. The EOM-29 cell line, cultured from a ciliary body melanoma, did not show the previously described chromosome 3 and 8 abnormalities.