Heterogeneity of normal human diploid fibroblasts: isolation and characterization of one phenotype

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Science  13 Jan 1984:
Vol. 223, Issue 4632, pp. 171-173
DOI: 10.1126/science.6691142


Cultures of human diploid fibroblasts contain cells that respond to exposure to the first component of complement (C1) by initiating DNA synthesis and growth. The plasma membranes of these cells have specific binding sites for the C1q subcomponent of C1. A fluorescence-activated cell sorter was used to isolate a subset of cells with a high affinity for C1q, and the growth and synthesis activities of these high-affinity cells were studied after numerous replications in vitro. These cells synthesize DNA and grow faster than the parent cultures and low-affinity cells, and they produce two to three times as much protein. About 40 percent of their total protein synthesis activity is directed to collagen production, unusually high proportions of collagen types III and V being produced. These properties and the high affinity of the cells for C1q are retained for at least six cell transfers. This phenotype has the properties expected of fibroblasts in healing wounds and inflamed tissues.

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