Cell culture models are valuable tools to study biological mechanisms underlying health and disease in a controlled environment. Although their genotype influences their phenotype, subtle genetic variations in cell lines are rarely characterised and taken into account for in vitro studies. To investigate how the genetic makeup of a cell line might affect the cellular response to inflammation, we characterised the single nucleotide variants (SNPs) relevant to inflammation-related genes in an established hippocampal progenitor cell line (HPC0A07/03C) that is frequently used as an in vitro model for hippocampal neurogenesis (HN). SNPs were identified using a genotyping array, and genes associated with chronic inflammatory and neuroinflammatory response gene ontology terms were retrieved using the AmiGO application. SNPs associated with these genes were then extracted from the genotyping dataset, for which a literature search was conducted, yielding relevant research articles for a total of 17 SNPs. Of these variants, 10 were found to potentially affect hippocampal neurogenesis whereby a majority (n=7) is likely to reduce neurogenesis under inflammatory conditions. Taken together, the existing literature seems to suggest that all stages of hippocampal neurogenesis could be negatively affected due to the genetic makeup in HPC0A07/03C cells under inflammation. Additional experiments will be needed to validate these specific findings in a laboratory setting. However, this computational approach already confirms that in vitro studies in general should control for cell lines subtle genetic variations which could mask or exacerbate findings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100286
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity - Health
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • eQTL
  • Gene variants
  • Hippocampus
  • In vitro model
  • Inflammation
  • Neural stem cells
  • Neurogenesis
  • Single nucleotide polymorphisms SNP


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