Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : A permanent cell line (BW) was established from a transplantable mouse hepatoma, BW7756, which produces alpha-foetoprotein (AFP). Three clones were isolated from the uncloned culture: BW1, BW2 and BWTG3. The cells of the latter clone, which was isolated after selection in the presence of thioguanine, are deficient in the enzyme hypoxanthine-guanine-phosphoribosyl transferase. Both BW1 and BWTG3 cells have mean chromosome number of 64 (60 telocentric and 4 metacentric chromosomes). All three clones secrete at least five serum proteins into the culture medium: albumin, AFP, and alpha 2 globulin, transferrin and C3, the third component of complement. The approximate rate of albumin secretion by BW1 and BWTG3 cells is 10 mug/24 h/10(6) cells. Both albumin and AFP can easily be detected in cell extracts. The simultaneous production of AFP and a hepatocyte specific marker (albumin) by cloned hepatoma cells show that the production of AFP by the tumour is due to the tumoural hepatocytes themselves.