A new human chondrosarcoma cell line, OUMS-27, was established. Monolayer cultures consisted of elongated polygonal cells with a doubling time of 41 hr and a plating efficiency of 2.1%. After reaching confluence, the cells continued to slowly proliferate and formed nodule-like structures, which showed metachromasia when stained with toluidine blue, indicating the presence of proteoglycan. The cells in the nodules were round to polygonal in shape, multilayered and surrounded by abundant extracellular matrix. Types I, II and III collagens were identified by Northern blotting and immunostaining. The cells formed colonies (0.1%) in 0.3% soft-agar medium 3 weeks after inoculation. Inoculation of cells into athymic mice resulted in the formation of tumors at the injection site, resembling the original chondrosarcoma. These results demonstrated that OUMS-27 cells expressed a differentiated chondrocytic phenotype. Moreover, OUMS-27 cells had p53-gene mutation. Thus, the OUMS-27 cell line can provide a useful model not only for studies on human chondrocyte but also for basic studies on the diagnosis, treatment and etiology of human chondrosarcoma.