Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens
Those which contaminate cell cultures eg viruses, bacteria.
Animal Health Laboratory, South Perth, Australia
Animal Health Trust, Houghton, UK
Approved Lists of Bacterial Names (Int.J.syst.Bact. 30, 225-420, 1980 and 32, 146-149, 1982)
Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA
American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA
Institute of Medical Microbiology, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark
Cells which will grow, survive or maintain function only when attached to an inert surface (eg, glass or plastic).
The situation which exists when the nucleus of a cell does not contain an exact multiple of the haploid number of chromosomes; one or more chromosomes being present in greater or lesser number than the rest. The chromosomes may or may not show rearrangements.
Appareils et Procedes d'Identification, La Balme-les-Grottes, France
Agricultural Research Council, Compton, Nr Newbury, Berkshire, UK
Procedures used to prevent the introduction of fungi, bacteria, viruses, mycoplasma or other micro-organisms into cell, tissue and organ cultures. Although these procedures are used to prevent microbial contamination of cultures, they also prevent cross contamination of cell cultures as well. These procedures may or may not exclude the introduction of infectious molecules.
American Type Culture Collection, 10801 University Boulevard, Manassas, VA, 20110-2209, USA
Cells which will grow, survive or maintain function only when attached to an inert surface (eg, glass or plastic).
Confirming by experimental means the origins and identity of a cell line.
All-Union Collection of Microorganisms, Moscow, Russia
Basal Medium Eagle
Collection of the late Dr B P Eddy, Low Temperature Research Station, Cambridge UK
Dr B Rowe, Laboratory of Enteric Pathogens, London UK
Beecham Research Laboratory, Betchworth UK
Bovine Serum Albumin
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy
Balanced Salt Solution
Biologicky Ustav, Ceskoslovenska Akademie Ved, Institute of Biology, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czechoslovakia
A European-wide treaty/agreement of terms by which patents can be legally recognised under European law. This was put in place to combat the variation in patent regulations between so many different countries in Europe. ECACC is a recognised depository for patents under the Budapest Treaty.
Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus
Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research is a previous name of the organisation based at Porton Down, Salisbury, UK. It was formerly MRE and subsequently part of the Health Protection Agency (HPA) which was subsumed into Public Health England in April 2013
Collection of Animal Pathogenic Micro-organisms, Brno, Czechoslovakia
Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures, Baarn, The Netherlands
Czechoslovak Collection of Entomogenous Bacteria(Institute of Entomology), Prague, Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovak Collection of Microorganisms, J.E. Purkyne University, Brno, Czechoslovakia
Centre de Collection de Type Microbienne, Lille, France
Culture Collection of the University of Göteborg,Göteborg, Sweden
California Department of Animal Investigation, California, USA
Centers for Disease Control (formerly Communicable Disease Center), Atlanta, Georgia , USA
Designation supplied by the PHLS at Cambridge
Coleccion Espanola de Cultivos Tipo, Valencia, Spain
Maintenance or cultivation of cells in vitro in which the cells are no longer organised into tissues. Origin tissue is disassociated by cell migration or mechanical or enzymic means.
The series of activities that each cell goes through. There are 5 recognised phases of the cell cycle: G0 - rest phase, G1 - 1st gap phase where cells prepare to synthesise DNA and undego mass synthesis, S - cells synthesise DNA and double 2n to 4n, G2 - 2nd gap phase where the cells prepare to divide and M - mitosis.
The interval between consecutive divisions of a cell.
The fusion of two or more dissimilar cells leading to the formation of a synkaryon.
A cell line arises from a primary culture of the first successful sub-culture. The term cell line implies that cultures from it consist of lineages of cells originally present in the primary culture. The terms finite or continuous are used as prefixes if the status of the culture is known. If not, the term line will suffice. The term 'continuous line' replaces the term 'established line'. In any published description of a culture, one must make every attempt to publish the characterization or history of the culture. If such has already been published, a reference to the original publication must be made. In obtaining a culture from another laboratory, the proper designation of the culture, as originally named and described, must be maintained and any deviations in cultivation from the original must be reported in any publication.
A description of the stage of growth that a cell population is in. There are 4 recognised phases: Lag Phase - where there is no net increase in cell number as the cells adapt to their environment, Log/Exponential Phase - where the population increases exponentially, Plateau - no net increase in cell numbers as the limits of space, nutrients and other factors are reached and Death/Decline Phase - where there is a net decrease in the population as the cells begin to die. Cell phases are pictorially represented as a growth curve.
A cell strain is derived either from a primary culture or a cell line by the selection or cloning of cells having specific properties or markers.
Florida State Health Department, Florida, USA
A nutritive solution for culturing cells in which each component is specifiable and, ideally, is of known chemical structure.
Collection de l'Institut Pasteur (see also CNCM), Paris, France
Collection de l'Institut Pasteur, Lyon, France
NCTC (Computer Laboratory, e.g. CL34/78), strain originally received for identification
The extent to which one clone is similar to another.
Wellcome Collection of Bacteria, Burroughs Wellcome Research Laboratories, Beckenham, Kent , UK
Collection Nationale de Cultures de Micro-organismes (formerly CIP), Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
Salmonella Reference Laboratory (Laboratory of Enteric Pathogens), HPA Centre for Infections, London, UK
The percentage of cells plated (seeded, inoculated) that form a colony. Also known as plating efficiency.
Medium containing growth factors secreted by other cells.
The percentage to which adherent cells cover the substrate (eg Flask). Note that cells should regularly be subcultured at around 60-70% confluency but please refer to the cell line data sheet or catalogue information as some cell lines do not reach this level of confluency.
The property of a cell to cease division when in contact with neighbouring cells or when growing in restricted space
A culture that is apparently capable of an unlimited number of population doublings; often referred to as an immortal cell culture. Such cells may or may not express the characteristics of in vitro neoplastic or malignant transformation. (See also 'immortalisation' )
Cytopathic effect caused by viral infection of cell lines, causing the morphology to change.
Central Public Health Laboratory, now HPA Centre for Infections, London, UK
Clinical Research Centre, Harrow, UK
When one cell culture has been introduced to another giving rise to a mixed cell population. If once cell type grows more vigorously than the other then that cell type will prevail.
Ultra-low temperature storage of cells, tissues, embryos or seeds. This storage is usually carried out in the vapour or liquid phase of nitrogen.
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia
Collection de l'Unite d'Ecotoxicologie Microbienne,Villeneuve d'Ascq, France
The defined process whereby individual cells characteristically change to a more specialised function.
The state of the cell in which all chromosomes, except sex chromosomes, are two in number and are structurally identical with those of the species from which the culture was derived. Where there is a Commission Report available, the experimenter should adhere to the convention for reporting the karyotype of the donor. Commission Reports have been published for mouse, human and rat. In defining a diploid culture, one should present a graph depicting the chromosome number distribution leading to the modal number determination along with representative karyotypes.
Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium with 4.5g/L Glucose
Division of Microbiological Reagents and Quality Control, HPA Centre for Infections, London, UK (formerly SLSR or Std L)
Dysentery Reference Laboratory (Laboratory of Enteric Pathogens), HPA Centre for Infections, London, UK
Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen, Braunschweig, Germany
Collection of Dr E M Barnes, Food Research Institute, Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Epstein Barr Nuclear Antigen
Originally a Human lymphotropic herpes virus that is now used in the immortalisation of B lymphoblast cells
European Collection of Authenticated Cell Cultures
Ethylene Diamine Tetra Acetic Acid
Epidermal Growth Factor
Eagles Minimum Essential Medium with Earles Balanced Salt Solution
Eagles Minimum Essential Medium with Hanks Balanced Salt Solution
Emergency Public Health Laboratory Service, became the Public Health Laboratory Service in 1946
Resembling or characterisation of, having the form or appearance of epithelial cells. In order to define a cell as an epithelial cell, it must possess characteristics typical of epithelial cells. For example, often epithelial cells will appear cuboidal when viewed under the light microscope and grow in sheets wherein the cells are in quite close contact with one another. In some types of epithelial cells, the nuclear to cytoplasmic ratio will be relatively high when compared to fibroblast cells.
Equine Research Station, Newmarket, UK
Under Flavobacterium spp.: NCTC, strain originally received for identification. Elsewhere, see FH
Ham's F10 nutrient medium
Ham's F12 nutrient medium
Modified Ham's F12 nutrient medium
Frequently Asked Questions
Food and Agriculture Organisation
Freshwater Biological Association, originally at Ambleside, Westmorland, UK
Foetal Bovine Serum (also known as FCS)
Serum from blood plasma that contains the wide range of nutrients necessary to support the growth of cells in culture.
Foetal Calf Serum (also known as FBS)
Food and Drug Administration, Washington, DC, USA
Forsyth Dental Center, Boston, USA
A layer of cells usually lethally irradiated or chemically treated to stop DNA synthesis, upon which are cultured a fastidious cell type.
Fibroblast Growth Factor
Food Hygiene Laboratory, HPA Centre for Infections, London, UK
Resembling or characteristic of, having the form or appearance of fibroblast cells. In order to define a cell as a fibroblast cell, it must possess characteristics typical of fibroblast cells. For example, often fibroblast cells will appear pointed, elongated or stellate when viewed under the light microscope and grow in sheets wherein the cells are rather loosely in contact with one another. The cells may produce parallel arrays at confluence. In some types of fibroblast cells, the nuclear to cytoplasmic ratio will be relatively low when compared to epithelial cells.
Cell cultures that will only survive a certain number of population doublings before senescence. All normal cells are finite.
A change or mutation in the genetic make up of a cellular population induced by long term culture or a change in growth conditions.
Granulocyte Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor
Glasgow's Modified Minimum Essential Medium
See Cell Phase.
Usually proteins required by cells for their growth and metabolism. Most cell lines are satisfied by those growth factors included in serum but others require additional supplements.
Hypoxanthine, Aminopterin, Thymidine Selection medium used in production of hybridomas.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
High Efficiency Particulate Air
A cell possessing two or more genetically different nuclei in a common cytoplasm, usually derived as a result of cell-to-cell fusion.
The term given to a cell culture when the cells comprising the culture possess nuclei containing chromosome numbers other than the diploid number. This is a term used only to describe a culture and is not used to describe individual cells. Thus, a heteroploid culture would be one that contains aneuploid cells.
Hungarian National Collection of Medical Bacteria, Budapest, Hungary
A cell possessing two or more genetically identical nuclei in a common cytoplasm, derived as a result of cell-to-cell fusion.
The term used to describe the mononucleate cell that results from the fusion of two different cells, leading to the formation of a synkaryon.
The cell which results from the fusion of an antibody producing tumour cell (myeloma) and an antigenically-stimulated normal plasma cell. Such cells are constructed because they produce a single antibody directed against the antigen epitope that stimulated the plasma cell. This antibody is referred to as a monoclonal antibody
Institute of Applied Microbiology, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
International Cell Line Authentication Committee
International Collection of Phytopathogenic Bacteria, Davis, California, USA
International Depository Authorities
Iscoves Modified Dulbecco's Medium
Institute for Fermentation, Osaka, Japan
Institute for Microbiology and Experimental Therapy, Jena, Germany
The attainment by a finite cell culture, whether by perturbation or intrinsically, of the attributes of a continuous cell line. An immortalised cell is not necessarily one, which is neoplastically or malignantly transformed.
Institute of Microbiology, Rutgers, The State University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA
Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide, Australia
The acquisition, by cultured cells, of the property to form neoplasms, benign or malignant, when inoculated into animals. Many transformed cell populations which arise in vitro intrinsically or through deliberate manipulation by the investigator, produce only benign tumours, that is, tumours which show no local invasion or metastasis following animal inoculation.
In vertebrate cell culture, the property attributable to finite cell cultures, namely their inability to grow beyond a finite number of population doubling, eg MRC-5, WI38 cells. Neither invertebrate nor plant cell cultures exhibit this property.
A heritable change, occurring in cells in culture, either intrinsically or from treatment with chemical carcinogens, oncogenic viruses, irradiation, transfection with oncogenes, etc and leading to the acquisition of altered morphological, antigenic, neoplastic, proliferative, or other properties.
Department of Insect Pathology, Institute of Entomology, Prague, Czechoslovakia
Ye L'Institut Pasteur (Centre des Yersinia), Paris, France
Institute of Poultry Diseases, Hannover, Germany
Designation supplied by the International Salmonella Centre when located at the Statens Seruminstitut, Copenhagen, Denmark
Japan Collection of Microorganisms, Saitama, Japan
Professor F Kauffmann (for strains of his series), Statens Seruminstitut, Copenhagen, Denmark
Kansai Medical School, Osaka, Japan
Luteinising Hormone or Lactalbumin Hydrolysate
Listeria: Dr Prof H P R Seeliger number; see also SLCC
Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine, Elstree, UK
Laboratorium voor Microbiologie en Microbielle Genetica, Ghent, Belgium
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
Landwirtschaftliche Untersuchungs und Forschungsanstalt, Kiel, Germany
Metropolitan Asylums Board, London, UK
Master Cell Bank
Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor
Eagle's Minimum Essential Medium
Eagle's Minimum Essential Medium with Earle's Balanced Salt Solution
Eagle's Minimum Essential Medium with Hank's Balanced Salt Solution
When a micro-organism (adventitious agent) is introduced to a cell culture. Includes bacteria, yeast, fungi and mycoplasma. Most contaminants will disrupt the growth or growth conditions of a culture.
An antibody secreted by a hybridoma.
Medical Research Council, Hampstead Laboratories, London, UK
Microbiological Research Establishment, subsequently part of the Health Protection Agency (HPA) based at Porton Down, Salisbury, UK (see also CAMR)
Mycoplasma Reference Laboratory, HPA Centre for Infections, London, UK (until 1976), Norwich, UK
Mycobacterial Reference Unit, PHLS Cardiff, UK
Metropolitan Water Board, London, UK
National Animal Disease Center, Ames, Iowa, USA
National Accreditation of Measurement and Sampling
Newborn Calf Serum
National Canners' Association, Washington DC, USA
National Collection of Dairy Organisms; now NCFB (q.v.)
National Collection of Food Bacteria, originally at Shinfield, NrReading, Berkshire, UK
National Collection of Industrial Bacteria; now NCIMB Ltd (q.v.)
National Collections of Industrial and Marine Bacteria Ltd, Aberdeen, Scotland
National Collection of Marine Bacteria; now NCIMB (q.v.) Ltd
National Collection of Pathogenic Fungi
National Collection of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, UK
National Collection of Pathogenic Viruses
National Collection of Type Cultures
National Collection of Yeast Cultures, Norwich, UK
Non Essential Amino Acids
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, UK
National Institute for Research in Dairying, Shinfield, Nr Reading, Berkshire
National Research Council, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Northern Utilization Research and Development Division (formerly Northern Regional Research Laboratory), US Department of Agriculture, Peoria, Illinois, USA
Collection of the late Dr N R Smith, US Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC, USA
Osaka University, Osaka, Japan
The transfer or transplantation of cells, with or without dilution, from one culture vessel to another. It is understood that any time cells are transferred from one vessel to another, a certain portion of the cells may be lost and therefore, dilution of cells, whether deliberate or not, may occur. This term is synonymous with the term 'subculture'.
The number of times the cells in the culture have been subcultured or passed. In descriptions of this process, the ratio or dilution of the cells should be stated so that the relative cultural age gap can be ascertained. This term is not synonymous with population doubling.
Phosphate Buffered Saline(calcium and magnesium free)
Phosphate buffered saline
Penicillin Control and Immunology Section, Food andDrug Administration, Washington DC, USA
Collection of Mycoplasmas of Dr D G ff Edwards, formerly at Burroughs Wellcome Research Laboratories, Beckenham, Kent UK
The expressed characteristics of a cell or cell culture. This includes the morphology, markers, products secreted and all other physical attributes.
Public Health Laboratory Service, England and Wales , now subsumed within the Health Protection Agency
A description of the number of chromosome sets included in a cell. eg. 2n - diploid/normal cells, 3n - triploid, 4n - tetraploid, etc.
Phorbol Myristate Acetate
The total number of population doublings of a cell line or strain since its initiation in vitro . A formula to use for the calculation of 'population doublings' in a single passage is: number of population doublings = Log10(N/N0) X 3.33 where: N= number of cells in the growth vessel at the end of a period of growth N0= numberof cells plated in the growth vessel. It is best to use the number of viable cells or number of attached cells for this determination. Population doublings level is synonymous with 'cell generation time'.
Personal Protective Equipment
The way in which ECACC prioritises its cell line stocks. Price code A reflects those cell lines ordered most often and so the banks are larger and more cryogenic storage space is assigned to them. Other price codes consist of cell lines that are ordered less often and so stocks are smaller and more labour intensive.
A culture started from cells, tissues or organs taken directly from organisms. A primary culture may be regarded as such until it is successfully subcultured for the first time, when it becomes a 'cell line'.
Refers to an increase in viable cell numbers in a population or when a single cell doubles.
Propagating strain for staphylococcal bacteriophages
This describes the condition where the number of chromosomes in a cell is diploid but, as a result of chromosomal rearrangements, the karyotype is abnormal and linkage relationships may be disrupted.
Quartermaster Research and Development Center, US Army, Natrick, Mass., USA
Royal Army Medical Corps; locations specified in the text or, if unspecified, Millbank, London, UK
Some cell lines in the General and Hybridoma collections at ECACC were deposited by the Research Council or with the aid of a Research Council grant. UK non-profit making organisations may receive a single ampoule of each RCD cell line free of charge. Please note that carriage charges will still apply
Process of reviving cells from a frozen state.
Collection of Dr R Hugh, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA
Roswell Park Memorial Institute. Often used as an abbreviation for RPMI 1640 nutrient medium.
Royal Veterinary College, London, UK
The maximum number of cells attainable per cm2 (monolayer culture) or per ml (suspension culture) under specific culture conditions.
Stock culture, Laboratory of Enteric Pathogens, HPA Centre for Infections, London, UK
Schneiders Drosophila Medium
The number of cells either per cm2 (if an adherent cell line) or per ml (if a suspension cell line) that are resuspended in a fresh flask after subculture. The recommended seeding density suggested by ECACC reflects the limits of a cell line to survive a split (ie. too low and there will not be a large enough population to successfully colonise the flask, too high and insufficient nutrients and space will be available for growth of any considerable length of time)
The point at which a cell or cell culture terminally ceases to grow.
Specialised medium that contains additional supplements and growth factors so that cells can grow in the absence of animal sera. It is still the case that only cells adapted to serum-free growth will prosper in serum-free media.
H P R Seeliger Listeria Culture Collection, Wurzburg, Germany
See Std L
Spinners Modified Minimum Essential Medium
The cell resulting from the fusion of animal cells derived from somatic cells that differ genetically.
Staphylococcus Reference Laboratory (Laboratory of Hospital Infection), London, UK
Statens Seruminstitut, Copenhagen, Denmark
Standards Laboratory (became Division of Microbiological Reagents and Quality Control), London, UK
St Thomas's Hospital, London, UK
The transfer of cells from one culture vessel to another. Cells are usually diluted at subculture for continuous growth
Cells that do not require anchorage in order to grow.
A hybrid cell that results from the fusion of the nuclei it carries.
Transforming Growth Factor
Traditionally, the maintenance of fragments of tissue in vitro , but commonly is used as a generic term including tissue explant culture, organ culture and dispersed cell cultures, ie cell lines and cell strains.
Trudeau Mycobacterial Culture Collection, Saranac Lake, New York, USA
A cell characteristic in which the potential for forming the entire cell types in the adult organism is retained.
Tryptose Phosphate Broth
The transfer, for the purposes of genomic integration, of naked, foreign DNA into cells in culture. The traditional microbiological usage of this term implied that the DNA being transferred was derived from a virus. The definition as stated here is that which is in use to describe the general transfer of DNA irrespective of its sources, eg cloned genes.
Cells that have changed or have been changed in a way that differs to their normal counterparts.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
University College Hospital, London, UK
University of Surrey Culture Collection, Guildford, UK
US Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC, USA
A culture exhibiting a stable phenotypic change whether genetic or epigenetic in origin.
Designation supplied by the PHLS, Maidstone (Reference facility for Vibrios), UK
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
Collection of the VPI (q.v.)
Working Cell Banks
World Health Organization
Watford Peace Memorial Hospital, Watford, UK
Worcester Royal Infirmary, Worcester, UK
Transplantation of tissue to a different species from which it was derived. Often used to describe implantation of human tumours in athymic (nude) immune suppressed mice.