NIH3T3 cells (also known as just 3T3 cells) are the standard fibroblast cell line utilized in biological research today. The 3T3 cell line was originally established from Swiss albino mouse embryo tissue in 1962 by two scientists at New York University School of Medicine. ‘3T3’ is an abbreviation from the original label of “3-day transfer, inoculum 3 x10^5 cells”, which refers to the protocol used to culture the cell line from primary mouse embryonic fibroblast cells. Utilizing the 3T3 protocol, the researchers at NYU were able induce spontaneous immortalization in the cells after 20-30 generations in culture. Commercially available transfection NIH3T3 reagent and associated transfection protocol were developed by Altogen Biosystems for transfection of DNA, RNA, and mRNA.
Transfection in Research Using NIH 3T3:
3T3 is useful in the cultivation of keratinocytes. Keratinocytes benefit from exposure to 3T3 growth factors.
The cell is very well suited for transfection studies using DNA. Although, this original cell line was subject to multiple cycles of subcloning before it was receptive to transformations. Now 3T3 is capable of undergoing spontaneous transformations in culture.
Transformations using 3T3 are often done with DNA from tumorigenic cells in order to study and demonstrate the presence of transforming oncogenes.