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Changes in cultured dermal fibroblasts during early passages across five wild bird species

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With the advent of the usage of primary fibroblasts in comparative and evolutionary biology, it is important for researchers to know the extent to which cells might be altered during the culturing process and how much species might differ in response to cell culture. We compared early changes in cell size and lipid composition of primary dermal fibroblasts grown at physiologically relevant oxygen concentrations (5% O2) from wild-caught species of birds. Fibroblasts from American Robins (Turdus migratorius L., 1766) and Bobwhite Quails (Colinus virginianus (L., 1758)) increased in size early in the culture process and cells from all five species of wild-caught birds exhibited changes in lipid-class composition. The two most common phospholipids, phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine, increased in concentration in all species between early passages and later passages of fibroblasts. Some less abundant lipid species, such as cardiolipin and sphingomyelin, exhibited similar concentrations in all three passages that we measured. Other lipid classes, such as cholesterol, increased in some species in later passages and decreased in others. Although results may vary with cell-culture conditions, this study points to a need for researchers comparing multiple species to take precautions when using cell culture, such as experimenting on the earliest possible passage of cells.

Keywords: American Robin; Anas clypeata; Anas platyrhynchos; Bobwhite Quail; Colinus virginianus; Mallard; Mourning Dove; Northern Shoveler; Turdus migratorius; Zenaida macroura; canard colvert; canard souchet; colin de Virginie; fibroblast; fibroblaste; lipid; lipide; merle d’Amérique; passage; phospholipid; phospholipide; plasmalogen; plasmalogène; repiquage; tourterelle triste

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University, 318 West 12th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA. 2: Department of Pathology, University of Michigan, 1301 Catherine Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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