Reptile Tissue Culture Cell Lines

Establishing reptile tissue culture cell lines:

  • Tissue culture cell lines are an invaluable resource for infectious disease discovery and characterization and comparative biomedical research. While cell lines from domestic species are readily available, cell lines from exotic and wildlife species – and particularly reptiles – are greatly limited. 
  • One of the initiatives of our laboratory is to establish a broad panel of reptile cell lines for use from diverse hosts as a tool to improve reptile research. 
  • To date, cell lines have been established from a variety of snake, lizard, chelonian, and crocodilian hosts and conditions for primary and continuous growth of reptile cells in vitro have been established. 
  • Currently established cell lines are listed below. Please contact Dr. Robert Ossiboff ( for more information on cell line availability. 

Available Cell Lines

Cell Line Information
Snake Cell Lines
Eastern Rat Snake2
Boid Amethystine Python (Simalia amethistinaSpleen 
Boa Constrictor (Boa imperatorHeart, Kidney, Lung, Spleen, Thymus 
Burmese Python (Python bivittatusHeart 
Carpet Python (Morelia spilotaLung 
Diamond Python (Morelia spilota spilotaHeart 
Colubrid Corn Snake (Pantherophis guttatusHeart, Kidney, Lung 
Smooth Green Snake (Opheodrys vernalisKidney, Lung 
Yellowtail Cribo (Drymarchon coraisLung, Spleen 
Viperid Pygmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarusKidney 
Venezuelan Rattlesnake (Crotalus durissusHeart, Spleen 
Lizard Cell Lines
Brown Anole (Anolis sagreiKidney, Lung 
Knight Anole (Anolis equestrisKidney 
Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis maculariusChromatophoroma, Lung 
Chelonian Cell Lines
Tortoise Galapagos Tortoise (Chelonoidis nigraHeart, Liver, Lung, Spleen 
Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemusHeart, Kidney, Spleen 
Indian Star Tortoise (Geochelone elegansSpleen 
Turtle Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapinKidney, Lung 
Florida Softshell Turtle (Apalone feroxLung 
Yellow-bellied Slider (Trachemys scripta scriptaHeart 
Crocodilian Cell Lines
American Alligator (Alligator missippiensisMass (fibroblast) 
Broad-snouted Caiman (Caiman latirostrusHeart 
Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensisHeart, Lung, Spleen 
Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosusHeart, Lung, Skeletal Muscle 

Funding for cell line generation and characterization provided in part by
a grant from the Morris Animal Foundation

Morris Animal Foundation