The stability of a clonal mouse neuroblastoma × rat glioma hybrid cell line was examined. Cell volume and cellular content of DNA and protein were measured as functions of the passage number. They decreased with the number of serial subcultivations. Cellular volume was linearly related to cellular DNA and protein. Thus, measurements of cell volume can be used to monitor the loss of DNA from hybrid cells. After about 60 passages a stable population of hybrid cells arose, as judged by the constancy of cellular volume and by the decreased coefficient of variation of the cell volume distribution. A mathematical model for the kinetics of the simultaneous loss of cellular volume, DNA and protein is introduced. Several neuronal properties were investigated. The specific activity of the neurotransmitter enzyme choline acetyltransferase decreased by more than 50% during 56 passages. After 70 subcultivations, the hybrid cells were still capable of extending processes, action potentials could still be elicited electrically or by iontophoretic application of acetylcholine, and the cells still responded to prostaglandin E1 as they do at low passage number.

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