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Cytogenetic, Genomic, and Functional Characterization of Pituitary Gonadotrope Cell Lines.

  • Author(s): Ruf-Zamojski, Frederique;
  • Ge, Yongchao;
  • Pincas, Hanna;
  • Shan, Jidong;
  • Song, Yinghui;
  • Hines, Nika;
  • Kelley, Kevin;
  • Montagna, Cristina;
  • Nair, Pranav;
  • Toufaily, Chirine;
  • Bernard, Daniel J;
  • Mellon, Pamela L;
  • Nair, Venugopalan;
  • Turgeon, Judith L;
  • Sealfon, Stuart C
  • et al.

LβT2 and αT3-1 are important, widely studied cell line models for the pituitary gonadotropes that were generated by targeted tumorigenesis in transgenic mice. LβT2 cells are more mature gonadotrope precursors than αT3-1 cells. Microsatellite authentication patterns, chromosomal characteristics, and their intercellular variation have not been reported. We performed microsatellite and cytogenetic analysis of both cell types at early passage numbers. Short tandem repeat (STR) profiling was consistent with a mixed C57BL/6J × BALB/cJ genetic background, with distinct patterns for each cell type. Spectral karyotyping in αT3-1 cells revealed cell-to-cell variation in chromosome composition and pseudodiploidy. In LβT2 cells, chromosome counting and karyotyping demonstrated pseudotriploidy and high chromosomal variation among cells. Chromosome copy number variation was confirmed by single-cell DNA sequencing. Chromosomal compositions were consistent with a male sex for αT3-1 and a female sex for LβT2 cells. Among LβT2 stocks used in multiple laboratories, we detected two genetically similar but distinguishable lines via STR authentication, LβT2a and LβT2b. The two lines differed in morphological appearance, with LβT2a having significantly smaller cell and nucleus areas. Analysis of immediate early gene and gonadotropin subunit gene expression revealed variations in basal expression and responses to continuous and pulsatile GnRH stimulation. LβT2a showed higher basal levels of Egr1, Fos, and Lhb but lower Fos induction. Fshb induction reached significance only in LβT2b cells. Our study highlights the heterogeneity in gonadotrope cell line genomes and provides reference STR authentication patterns that can be monitored to improve experimental reproducibility and facilitate comparisons of results within and across laboratories.

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