Microglial cells, unique myeloid cells residing in the brain, play a crucial role in maintaining central nervous system (CNS) health. As the resident immune cells of the brain parenchyma, they constantly monitor the CNS microenvironment and become rapidly activated in response to various stimuli. Apart from their immune functions, microglia also regulate synaptic architecture and neurogenesis, among other cerebral processes. Understanding the regulatory mechanisms of microglial activation is essential for a wide range of neurological disorders.
In vitro studies have extensively characterized microglial functions using rodent cultures, but human microglia research has been limited due to the scarcity of primary sources. However, human microglial cell lines have emerged as a valuable experimental model to overcome this limitation. Among these cell lines, the human microglial clone 3 cell line, HMC3, and the “Immortalized Human Microglia – SV40” have gained attention. The HMC3 cell line has been authenticated and distributed by the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC®).
Despite the availability of the HMC3 cell line, a comprehensive review of the literature reveals a complex nomenclature. Previously referred to as the CHME3 microglial cells, this cell line has been employed in various laboratories under different names, including C13-NJ cells and CHME-5 cells. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge the historical distribution of this cell line to avoid confusion.
A systematic literature search retrieved 24 articles specifically related to the HMC3 cell line. These include six original studies and one review article. Moreover, an additional 21 articles were identified by searching for the CHME3 cell line. These studies contribute to a more extensive characterization of the human microglial clone 3.
To provide researchers with a comprehensive overview, this article reviews the data obtained from the human microglial clone 3 cell line. It also includes original data generated in our laboratory using the HMC3 (ATCC®CRL-3304) cell line. This review aims to inform readers about the complicated nomenclature surrounding this cell line and provide crucial details on culturing procedures for obtaining and maintaining viable cells. By examining existing literature, this article serves as a valuable starting point for researchers planning to utilize the HMC3 cell line in their experimental paradigms.
In conclusion, the human microglial HMC3 cell line has proven to be a versatile tool for studying microglial functions. With its unique characteristics and established availability, this cell line offers valuable insights into the regulation of microglial activation and its implications in various cerebral processes. Researchers can now embark on their experimental journey with a clearer understanding of the HMC3 cell line, thanks to this comprehensive review.
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