The Sonoda-Tajima Cell Collection includes cell samples obtained from a range of ethnic minority groups across the world but in particular from South America. The collection is made all the more valuable by the fact that some of these ethnic populations have since died out, and thus it will be impossible to prepare a similar cell collection again. The collection was donated to our institute, a public cell bank in Japan, by Drs Sonoda and Tajima to make it available to researchers throughout the world. The original cell collection was composed of cryopreserved peripheral blood samples that would obviously have been rapidly exhausted if used directly. We, therefore, immortalized some samples with the Epstein-Barr virus and established B-lymphoblastoid cell lines (B-LCLs). As there is continuing controversy over whether the B-LCL genome is stably maintained, we performed an array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) analysis to confirm the genomic stability of the cell lines. The array CGH analysis of the B-LCL lines and their parental B cells demonstrated that genomic stability was maintained in the long-term cell cultures. The B-LCLs of the Sonoda-Tajima Collection will therefore be made available to interested scientists around the world. At present, 512 B-LCLs have been developed, and we are willing to increase the number if there is sufficient demand.
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