An Ixodes scapularis cell line with a predominantly neuron-like phenotype

Jonathan D. Oliver, Adela S.Oliva Chávez, Roderick F. Felsheim, Timothy J. Kurtti, Ulrike G. Munderloh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The Ixodes scapularis embryo-derived cell line ISE6 is the most widely utilized tick-derived cell line due to its susceptibility to a wide variety of tick- and non-tick-vectored pathogens. Little is known about its tissue origin or biological background. Protein expression of ISE6 cells was compared with that of another I. scapularis-derived cell line, IDE12, and dissected tick synganglia. Results demonstrated the presence of a neuronal marker protein, type 3 β-tubulin, in all three samples, as well as other shared and unique neuronal and immune response-associated proteins. Of neuronal proteins shared between the two cell lines, ISE6 expressed several in significantly greater quantities than IDE12. Stimulation of ISE6 cells by in vivo exposure to the hemocoel environment in unfed larval and molting nymphal ticks, but not unfed nymphal ticks, resulted in the development of neuron-like morphologic characteristics in the implanted cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-442
Number of pages16
JournalExperimental and Applied Acarology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 30 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by grants from the US National Institutes of Health, Numbers R01AI042792 and R01AI049424 to Ulrike G. Munderloh. Mass spectrometry was performed at The Center for Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics at the University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


  • Cell culture
  • IDE12
  • ISE6
  • Ixodes scapularis
  • Neuron
  • Proteome
  • Synganglion


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