WiCell expands offerings for researching human disease with cell lines designed by Life Technologies for fluorescent protein expression


MADISON, Wis. — WiCell Research Institute, which provides stem cells and cytogenetic services to researchers around the world, has expanded its stem cell bank with two modified human embryonic stem cell lines designed by Life Technologies of Carlsbad, Calif.

The new cell lines may prove to be valuable tools for researchers studying human neurological disease and conditions, such as spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The first cell line, LT1e-OLIG2GFP, is engineered to express a fluorescent protein only when the cell line is expressing Olig2, a known marker of neural cells. This highly visible protein allows researchers to easily track differentiated neural cells throughout research and readily purify cell populations. Built on Viacytes’s embryonic stem cell line, BG01, the development of this line was originally reported in the Aug. 20, 2009 issue of Stem Cells and Development as a new research tool for studying motor neuron and oligodendrocyte lineage development.  

The second cell line, LT2e-H9CAGGFP, is based on the H9 (WA09) cell line and includes modifications that result in constitutive GFP expression that is maintained in prolonged culture. According to the Jan. 20, 2012 issue of Stem Cell Development, this line can be helpful in studying lineage development, gain- and loss-of-function experiments and in conducting human disease modeling using human embryonic stem cells.

“We welcome new deposits to our stem cell bank that allow us to offer a broad selection of research tools to investigators worldwide,” said Robert Drape, WiCell executive director. “The scientific community is directing significant effort at the production of new cell lines that can be tremendously useful in studying disease development and progression.”

However, these new cell lines first must be well characterized and widely distributed among researchers, which is what WiCell helps to facilitate. “We are proud to serve as the link between organizations that are developing cell lines, like Life Technologies, and the scientific investigators on the frontlines of research,” said Drape.

Detailed information about the new Life Technologies lines, as well as the 63 other stem cells lines WiCell distributes, is available at www.wicell.org.