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3T3 L1

3T3 L1

Catalogue No.


Cell Line Name

3T3 L1

Cell Line Description

3T3 L1 is a continuous strain of 3T3 developed through clonal isolation. The cells are not contact inhibited. Cells can be induced to become adipose-like using the method described in the subculture routine information. Appearance of adipocytes can take weeks to achieve. We would like to manage customer expectations with regard to the potential of the current 3T3 cell line stocks to differentiate into adipocytes. If you intend to use the cells for adipocyte differentiation please note: When cells are stimulated, using an appropriate protocol, differentiation may take several weeks to occur, e.g. 2 - 5 weeks, and the proportion of the population which differentiates can be limited. If you have previously used 3T3 cells from an alternative source we cannot guarantee the differentiation performance will be the same. We are working to source a new stock of this cell line that has a higher rate of adipocyte differentiation potential which we aim to be able to offer in the future. When this is available we will update the cell line details on the website.


Tissue of Origin



2n = 40; Aneuploid with unstable karyotype


None Stated

Culture Conditions

Cell Type


Subculture Routine

Split sub-confluent cultures (70-80%) i.e. seeding at 1-2 x10⁴/cm² in a 75cm² flask using 0.05% trypsin or trypsin/EDTA; 5% CO₂; 37°C. Never allow the culture to become fully confluent and subculture every 3 days. To stimulate differentiation into adipocytes grow the cells to confluency using the DMEM + 10% calf serum. 2 days after confluency induce differentiation by adding 0.5 mM 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX), 0.25uM Dexamethoasone and 1ug/ml Insulin in DMEM with 10% Foetal Bovine Serum (FBS). After 2 days remove the IBMX and dexamethasone but maintain with insulin for another 2 days. On day 4, after inducing differentiation, and thereafter, culture the cells in DMEM with 10% FBS. Change medium every second day. Differentiation may take several weeks to occur e.g. 2 - 5 weeks. Differentiation begins in patches but with time a significant percentage of the population should change. Before any experiments on the differentiated cells incubate in serum-free DMEM for 2 hours.

Culture Medium

DMEM + 2mM Glutamine + 10% Calf Serum (CS)

Growth Mode


Additional Info


Obtained from ATCC

Country of Origin

United States

Hazard Group (ACDP)

Hazard Group (ACDP) 2



Cell 1974;1:113;Cell 1974;3:127, J Biol Chem 1985;260:2646-2652


Evidence for the involvement vicinal sulfhydryl groups in insulin-activated hexose transport by 3t3-l1 adipocytes. By SC Frost and MD Lane

Available Formats

  • Frozen
  • DNA-5µg (100ng/µl)

If use of this culture results in a scientific publication, it should be cited in the publication as: 3T3 L1 (ECACC 86052701).

Unless specified otherwise, at ECACC we routinely handle all of our cell lines at containment level 2 in accordance with the ACDP guidelines (Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens) (UK). All cell cultures have the potential to carry as yet unidentified adventitious agents. It is the responsibility of the end user to ensure that their facilities comply with biosafety regulations for their own country. ACDP Guidance: Biological agents: Managing the risks in laboratories and healthcare premises.

The Culture Collections represent deposits of cultures from world-wide sources. While every effort is made to ensure details distributed by Culture Collections are accurate, Culture Collections cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in the data supplied. References where quoted are mainly attributed to the establishment of the cell culture and not for any specific property of the cell line, therefore further references should be obtained regarding cell culture characteristics. Passage numbers where given act only as a guide and Culture Collections does not guarantee the passage number stated will be the passage number received by the customer.

Cultures supplied by Culture Collections are for research purposes only. Enquiries regarding the commercial use of a cell line are referred to the depositor of the cell line. Some cell lines have additional special release conditions such as the requirement for a material transfer agreement to be completed by the potential recipient prior to the supply of the cell line. Please view the Terms & Conditions of Supply for more information.