The aim of this study was to generate immortalized human anterior pituitary adenoma cells. Reliable cell models for the study of human pituitary adenomas are as yet lacking and studies performed so far used repeated passaging of freshly excised adenomas, with the attendant limitations due to limited survival in culture, early senescence, and poor reproducibility.
Methods & Results
We devised a technique based upon repeated co-transfections of two retroviral vectors, one carrying the catalytic subunit of human telomerase, hTERT, the other SV40 large T antigen. This approach extended the lifespan of cells derived from a human growth hormone-secreting adenoma up to 18 months while retaining morphology of primary cells, growth hormone synthesis and growth hormone secretion.
Our attempt represents the first demonstration of successful lifespan extension of human growth hormone-secreting pituitary adenoma cells via co-transfection of hTERT and SV40T and paves the way to future attempts to obtain stable cell lines.