Establishment, maintenance and description of cell lines from the tick Ixodes scapularis

U. G. Munderloh, Y. Liu, M. Wang, C. Chen, T. J. Kurtti

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195 Scopus citations


Interest in tick-borne pathogens has been enhanced by the emergence of Lyme disease and, more recently, human and animal ehrlichioses. In order to facilitate investigations of the vector phase of tick-borne disease agents in vitro, several new cell lines derived from embryonated eggs of northern (IDE lines) and southern (ISE lines) populations of the tick Ixodes scapularis were developed. The establishment and characteristics of 4 IDE (IDE1, 2, 8, and 12) and 2 ISE (ISE5 and 18) lines were described. Primary cultures were initiated in L-15B medium at 31 C from a single egg mass each and established lines developed a morphologically distinct phenotype. Myoblasts were present during the first year after isolation in several lines as isolated clusters or sheets covering the whole flask. Cell line extracts resolved by isoelectric focusing were characterized for 3 isozymes (lactate dehydrogenase, malate dehydrogenase, and malic enzyme). The combined banding patterns allowed discrimination between Ixodes cell lines and a Rhipicephalus appendiculatus cell line. Two lines, i.e., ISE5 and ISE18, had unique isozyme bands. Chromosome numbers and morphology conformed to those described from tissue squashes of I. scapularis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-543
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Parasitology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994


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