Temperature-sensitive SV40-immortalized rat middle ear epithelial cells

Katsuhiro Toyama, Michael M. Paparella, Youngki Kim, Jizhen Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The proliferation and differentiation of middle ear epithelial cells are essential in both normal and diseased middle ears. The normal situation involves physiologic growth and renewal of the epithelium, and the diseased situation involves pathological changes of the epithelium such as mucous cell metaplasia and ciliated cell proliferation in otitis media. In this study, we used a temperature-sensitive large T antigen (the SV40 mutant) to transduce and immortalize the primary culture of middle ear epithelial cells. SV40-immortalized middle ear epithelial cells have been cultured for more than 50 passages and are stable morphologically. Their nonimmortalized parent cells died at the second passage. Immortalized middle ear epithelial cells carrying the SV40 mutant show a monolayer, cobblestonelike morphology. The cell line expresses characteristic middle ear mucosal molecules such as mucins, keratins, and collagens. It also responds to temperature changes; namely, cells proliferate at 33°C, when the SV40 antigen is active, and differentiate at 39°C, when the SV40 antigen is inactive. Therefore, we conclude that a temperature-sensitive middle ear epithelial cell line has successfully been established.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)967-974
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Immortalization
  • Middle ear epithelial cell
  • Otitis media
  • Sprague-Dawley rat


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