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Catalogue No.


Cell Line Name


Cell Line Description

The first human, trophoblastic endocrine cell type to be maintained in continuous culture. It was initiated from a malignant gestational choriocarcinoma of the foetal placenta. The cells secrete placental hormones including chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), polypeptide hormones, lactogen, estrogenic and progestational steroids, estrone, estradiol, estriol and progesterone. A high rate of hCG Synthesis has been shown. Cellular differentiation of this stem cell type occurs when hormonal precursors are added to the medium. Due to the high glycolytic activity the cells have to be sub-cultured or supplied with fresh media every 24-48 hours to prevent glucose exhaustion. BeWo has the same DNA profile as JEG3 (ECACC catalogue number 92120308); JEG3 was established by serial cloning of BeWo (see Pattillo & Gey 1968 PMID: 4299001).



Gonadotrophin, lactogen and steroid hormones

Tissue of Origin


DNA profile (STR Profile)

Amelogenin: X,Y
CSF1PO: 11,12
D5S818: 10,11
D7S820: 10,12
D13S317: 9,11
D16S539: 13,14
TH01: 9,9.3
vWA: 16


modal number =86 range 71-178


Hormone studies


Gestational Choriocarcinoma

Culture Conditions

Cell Type


Subculture Routine

Split sub-confluent cultures (70-80%) 1:3 i.e. seeding at 2-4x10,000 cells/cm² using 0.05% trypsin/EDTA; 5% CO₂; 37°C; medium change or subculture every 24-48 hours necessary.

Culture Medium

Ham's F12 + 2mM Glutamine + 10% Foetal Bovine Serum (FBS).

Growth Mode


Additional Info


Obtained from ATCC

Country of Origin

United States

Hazard Group (ACDP)

Hazard Group (ACDP) 2



Pattillo RA, Gey GO.1968 The establishment of a cell line of human hormone-synthesizing trophoblastic cells in vitro. Cancer Res. 28(7):1231-6 PMID: 4299001


Hertz R 1959 Choriocarcinoma of women maintained in serial passage in hamster and rat. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 102:77-81. PMID: 14401422. Pattillo RA,et al., 1968 Human hormone production in vitro. Science. 29; 159:1467-9. PMID: 5753554 Pattillo RA,et al., 1970 Control mechanisms for gonadotrophic hormone production in vitro. In Vitro. 6(3):205-14. PMID: 5535575 Pattillo RA, et al., 1971 The hormone-synthesizing trophoblastic cell in vitro: a model for cancer research and placental hormone synthesis. Ann N Y Acad Sci.; 172(10):288-98. PMID: 5289994

Available Formats

  • Frozen

If use of this culture results in a scientific publication, it should be cited in the publication as: BeWo (ECACC 86082803).

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.