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Catalogue No.


Cell Line Name


Cell Line Description

SH-SY5Y is a thrice-cloned sub-line of bone marrow biopsy-derived line SK-N-SH (ECACC catalogue no. 86012802). SH-SY-5Y has dopamine-beta-hydroxylase activity and can convert glutamate to the neurotransmitter GABA. Will form tumours in nude mice in approximately 3-4 weeks. The loss of neuronal characteristics has been described with increasing passage numbers. Therefore it is recommended to verify specific characteristics such as neurite expression, noradrenalin uptake or neuronal markers routinely. Typically ECACC SH-SY5Y cells are supplied at passage 12

Access Cell line profile for this product.


Tissue of Origin


DNA profile (STR Profile)

Amelogenin: X
CSF1PO: 11
D5S818: 12
D7S820: 7,10
D13S317: 11
D16S539: 8,13
TH01: 7,10
TPOX: 8,11
vWA: 14,18


Not specified


Neurotransmitter studies



Culture Conditions

Cell Type


Subculture Routine

Split sub-confluent cultures (70-80%) 1:10 to 1:100 i.e. seeding at 1x1,000-1x10,000 cells/cm²; using 0.05% trypsin or trypsin/EDTA, 5% CO₂; 37°C. Cells may reattach slowly and may remain in suspension for several days. The loss of neuronal characteristics has been described with increasing passage numbers. Therefore it is recommended to verify specific characteristics such as neurite expression, noradrenalin uptake or neuronal markers routinely

Culture Medium

Ham's F12:EMEM (EBSS) (1:1) + 2mM Glutamine + 1% Non Essential Amino Acids (NEAA) + 15% Foetal Bovine Serum (FBS).

Growth Mode


Additional Info


Dr PFT Vaughan, Institute for Cardiovascular Research, University of Leeds

Country of Origin

United Kingdom

Hazard Group (ACDP)

Hazard Group (ACDP) 2



Biedler JL, Roffler-Tarlov S, Schachner M, Freedman LS 1978 Multiple neurotransmitter synthesis by human neuroblastoma cell lines and clones. Cancer Res.38(11 Pt 1):3751-7. PMID: 29704. Ross RA, Spengler BA, Biedler JL. 1983 Coordinate morphological and biochemical interconversion of human neuroblastoma cells. J Natl Cancer Inst.71(4):741-7. PMID: 6137586.


Jalava AM, Heikkilä J, Akerlind G, Pettit GR, Akerman KE. 1990 Effects of bryostatins 1 and 2 on morphological and functional differentiation of SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. Cancer Res.; 50(11):3422-8. PMID: 2334938. Påhlman S, Meyerson G, Lindgren E, Schalling M, Johansson I.1991 Insulin-like growth factor I shifts from promoting cell division to potentiating maturation during neuronal differentiation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 88(22):9994-8. PMID: 1946468. Lopes FM, Schröder R, da Frota ML Jr, Zanotto-Filho A, Müller CB, Pires AS, Meurer RT, Colpo GD, Gelain DP, Kapczinski F, Moreira JC, Fernandes Mda C, Klamt F. 2010 Comparison between proliferative and neuron-like SH-SY5Y cells as an in vitro model for Parkinson disease studies. Brain Res. 14;1337:85-94. PMID: 20380819. Encinas M, Iglesias M, Liu Y, Wang H, Muhaisen A, Ceña V, Gallego C, Comella JX. 2000 Sequential treatment of SH-SY5Y cells with retinoic acid and brain-derived neurotrophic factor gives rise to fully differentiated, neurotrophic factor-dependent, human neuron-like cells. J Neurochem. 75(3):991-1003. PMID: 10936180. Constantinescu R, Constantinescu AT, Reichmann H, Janetzky B. 2007 Neuronal differentiation and long-term culture of the human neuroblastoma line SH-SY5Y. J Neural Transm Suppl. 2007 ;(72):17-28. PMID: 17982873. Kovalevich, J. & Langford, D. Considerations for the use of SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells in neurobiology. Methods Mol. Biol. Clifton NJ 1078, 9-21 (2013).

Available Formats

  • Frozen

If use of this culture results in a scientific publication, it should be cited in the publication as: SH-SY5Y (ECACC 94030304).

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.