Characterization of a Human Ovarian Carcinoma Cell Line (NIH: OVCAR-3) with Androgen and Estrogen Receptors

Thomas C. Hamilton, Robert C. Young, Wilma M. McKoy, Karen R. Grotzinger, John A. Green, Jacqueline Whang-Peng, Alfred M. Rogan, Robert F. Ozols, Elizabeth W. Chu, William R. Green

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480 Citations (Scopus)


A cell line, NIH:OVCAR-3 has been established from the malignant ascites of a patient with progressive adenocarcinome of the ovary after combination chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide, Adriamycin, and cisplatin. OVCAR-3 grows as a cobble-stone-like monolayer with foci of multilayering, is tumorigenic in athymic mice, clones in agarose, and has an abnormal karyotype which includes a homogeneous staining region and a double minute chromosome. The cultured cells and xenografts contain cytoplasmic androgen and estrogen-binding macromolecules with the specificity of the respective steroid hormone receptors. These components have sedimentation coefficients of 7 to 9S in low-salt sucrose-density gradients, have dissociation constants of 250 and 9.6 pM, and are present at concentrations of 30 and 28 fmol/mg cytosol protein characteristic of androgen and estrogen receptors, respectively. OVCAR-3 is resistant in vitro to clinically relevant concentrations of Adriamycin (5 x 10-8M) melphalan (5 x 10-6M), and cisplatin (5 x 10–7M) with survival compared to untreated controls of 43,45, and 77%, respectively. Furthermore, there are multiple histological similarities between the patient's original tumor, the cell line, and the transplantable tumor. These data indicate that OVCAR-3 may be of use for investigations as to the significance of androgens and estrogens and the mechanisms of cytotoxic drug resistance in ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5379-5389
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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