We describe a newly established human sarcoma cell line derived from an endometrial stromal sarcoma (ESS). The cell line has been maintained in long-term cell culture for more than 2 years. It has been repeatedly analyzed in terms of morphology, immunocytochemical features, ultrastructure and karyotypic characteristics. In contrast to uniform endometrial stromal differentiation in vivo, the tumor cells were shown to display distinct phenotypical heterogeneity in vitro. In addition to the predominant cell type, which retained sarcomatous differentiation, foci of epithelial-like cells were observed in the cell culture. Immunocytochemical and ultrastructural analysis demonstrated a mainly mesenchymal phenotype with signs of epithelial characteristics, such as expression of cytokeratins, and the presence of desmosomes and kinetocilia, respectively. Cytogenetic analyses in early and late passages revealed unbalanced translocations between chromosomes 3 and 6 and an additional i(19)(q10), as common karyotypic changes in all tumor cells, indicating a monoclonal origin. Our new cell line can be used as an in vitro model to study the mechanisms of heterogeneous differentiation patterns in ESS.