Glucagon-producing cell lines were established by fusing pancreatic islet cells of adult hamster and 6-thioguanine-resistant hamster insulinoma cells. Under phase-contrast microscopy, the morphology of cultured hybrid cells was intermediate between those of the parental cells. The hybrid cells contained A-like granules, though few in number, and were stained with anti-glucagon antibody. The mode of chromosome number decreased to 78 or 79 by 3 mo after hybridization in comparison with the expected chromosome number of the heterokaryon of 104, and showed a minute decrease in 4 of 6 cell lines after 6 mo. The population doubling time ranged from 24 to 38 h, while that of parental insulinoma cells was 22.8 h. There was no correlation between the expression of cellular function and the stability of chromosome number or the length of population doubling time. The capacity of glucagon secretion was between that of the parental cells. The glucagon secreted into the medium, as assayed by the glucagon-specific antibody, was 0.6–2.5 ng/106 cells for 2 h, which was about 40% of total glucagon-like immunoreactivity secreted. Secretion of glucagon was not affected by high concentration of glucose, was markedly increased by theophylline, and was suppressed by exogenous insulin. All of the hybrid cells produced tumors on transplantation 6 mo after hybridization. The tumor-bearing hamsters exhibited high levels of plasma glucagon and blood glucose as well as a high level Of serum insulin.

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