Abstract: We developed an isolation and culture method for Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddellii) myoblasts and discovered that isolated Weddell seal cells proliferate poorly after initial plating and freezing without lipid supplementation in media, which is reflective of their high-fat diets. We tested the effects of media lipid concentrations ranging from 2.5 to 10% on the number of myotubes formed between days 1 and 7 of differentiation. We deter-mined that the growth and differentiation media for cultured Weddell seal skeletal muscle cells must be supplemented with a lipid concentration between 2.5 and 5%. This modification to standard growth and differentiation media formulations illustrates the importance of considering the diet of non-model organisms in primary culture. The success of these techniques provides a unique opportunity to investigate molecular regulatory pathways essential to physiological responses seen in the whole animal.
Key Words: primary cell culture, Weddell seal, Leptonychotes weddellii, myotubes, diet, lipid
Document Type: Research article
DOI: 10.1578/AM.40.4.2014.412
Page Numbers: 412-422

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