Observations made on 31 amniotic fluid cell strains serially cultured until senescent are recorded. The cell strains had an average life in culture of 13·9 passages (range 3-29). The source of the amniotic fluid from which the cultures were initiated did not influence the behaviour of the cell strains. The behaviour of the cell strains was unrelated to the growth characteristics of the primary cultures from which they were derived. Cell strains derived from serial samples of amniotic fluid from three women were compared and their characteristics were no more related to each other than to the group as a whole. The cell types found in amniotic fluid cultures are described. The karyology of 12 of the cell strains was monitored and no significant changes from normal diploidy were seen. Possible reasons for the highly variable and unpredictable behaviour of amniotic fluid cell strains are discussed.
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