Morphological characterization of cardiomyocytes isolated from a transplantable cardiac tumor derived from transgenic mouse atria (AT-1 cells)

J. B. Delcarpio, N. A. Lanson, L. J. Field, W. C. Claycomb

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66 Scopus citations


We have developed a transplantable tumor lineage derived from transgenic mouse atrial cardiomyocytes that express the SV40 large T oncogene and have named these cardiomyocytes AT-1 cells. In this study, the transplantable tumors, freshly isolated tumor cardiomyocytes, and cultured tumor cardiomyocytes were examined using phase-contrast microscopy, autoradiography, and electron microscopy. The vast majority of the subcutaneous tumor cells, >90% of the cellular mass of the tumor, exhibited sarcomeric banding. Ultrastructural characteristics typical of in vivo atrial cardiac muscle cells, including well-organized myofibrils, gap junctions, and atrial-specific cytoplasmic granules, were observed in in situ and in freshly isolated AT-1 cells. Those cells that did not contain some form of organized myofibrils were primarily vascular elements, such as endothelial cells. Labeling with [3H]thymidine indicated that >90% of cultured AT-1 cells were synthesizing DNA; furthermore, many cells could be seen undergoing cell division. Electron microscopy revealed that the cultured AT-1 cardiomyocytes contained all of the above-described characteristics, including a well-developed transverse tubular system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1591-1600
Number of pages10
JournalCirculation research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991



  • Atrial heart cells
  • Cell division
  • Morphology
  • Tissue culture
  • Transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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