Immortalized cell lines that retain differentiated functions are required to study tissue functions at cellular and molecular levels. Transgenic animals, mice and rats, harboring temperature-sensitive simian virus 40 large T-antigen have been found to be very useful for establishing conditionally immortalized cell lines from tissues that have proved difficult to culture in vitro. Thus far we have succeeded in establishing many kinds of conditionally immortalized cell lines with differentiated functions from the transgenic animals. Novel DNA microarray technologies allow the simultaneous measurement of changes in expression of many hundreds or many thousands of genes. Using established cell lines and DNA microarrays, we have identified many genes that are differentially expressed in the process of cell differentiation and cell death. In this review, we would like to introduce the characteristics of established gastrointestinal and testicular cell lines and discuss possible applications of these cell lines to differential gene expression analysis by DNA microarray technology.
Keywords: Transgenic animal, Temperature-sensitive simian virus 40 large T-antigen, Conditionally immortalized cell line, Gene expression, DNA microarray
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