Ptk2 cells

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PtK2 Cells are a cell line derived from male rat-kangaroo (Potorous tridactylis) epithelial kidney cells.[1] This cell line is used for a variety of application in biomedical research but is particularly popular as a model for mitosis.[2]

Phase contrast microscopy image of potorous tridactylus kidney epithelial cells


The PtK2 cell line was established by Kristen Walen and Spencer Brown in 1962.[3] Cells from the rat kangaroo were selected as the source of a cell line because this species has only a small number of chromosomes and these chromosomes are easily visualized under a microscope. This makes these cells particularly suited to studying mitosis.


PtK2 cells are relatively large and when grown in a monolayer stay flat throughout the cell cycle unlike many cells that round up during mitosis.[4] PtK2 cells are resistant to adenovirus 5, coxsackievirus B5, and poliovirus 2. They are susceptible to coxsackievirus A9, herpes simplex, vaccinia, and vesicular stomatitis (Ogden strain).[5] PtK2 cells contain intermediate filaments composed of Keratin.[6]


  1. ^ "PtK2 (NBL-5) (ATCC® CCL-56™) Potorous tridactylis kidney norm". Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Elgin, edited by Barbara A. Hamkalo, Sarah C.R. (1991). Functional organization of the nucleus a laboratory guide. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 143. ISBN 008085933X. 
  3. ^ WALEN, KH; BROWN, SW (Apr 28, 1962). "Chromosomes in a marsupial (Potorous tridactylis) tissue culture.". Nature 194: 406. doi:10.1038/194406a0. PMID 14004541. 
  4. ^ "Molecular Expressions Microscopy Primer: Specialized Microscopy Techniques - Fluorescence Digital Image Gallery - Male Rat Kangaroo Kidney Epithelial Cells (PtK2)". Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Rosemarie, Lindl, Toni;Steubing,. Atlas of Living Cell Cultures. Weinheim: Wiley. p. 465. ISBN 3527669930. 
  6. ^ "Olympus Microscopy Resource Center | Fluorescence Digital Image Gallery - Epithelial Cells". Retrieved 17 December 2013.