A culture medium has been formulated to support the long-term proliferation and differentiation of normal murine epidermal cells in primary cultures. This formulation is based upon MCDB-151 modified by the addition of 1.2 mM Ca2+, 1% fetal bovine serum (FBS) or 0.1% purified bovine serum albumin (BSA), trace elements, and growth supplements. For 4-12 weeks, the cultures demonstrate desmosomes, keratin fibers, basal proliferation, and stratification characteristic of keratinocytes. The addition of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) resulted in approximately 70% cellular detachment, but with continued treatment, the remaining cells proliferated to confluence and stratified. This culture medium has application to a number of studies related to skin carcinogenesis in the murine model system that have not previously been possible.
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*Submitted in part in abstract form for poster presentation at the Amer. Assoc. Cancer Res. meeting May 1986. This study was supported by U.S. Public Health Service grants CA-34443 (SMF), CA-34962 (TJS) and CA-34521 (TJS). **To whom requests for reprints should be sent.