The sorting-out behavior (self-segregation of two cell types from mixtures of the two) of five different established cell lines was studied. Eight of the ten possible binary combinations of these lines, cultured as cellular aggregates, were examined. Mouse BALB/c 3T3 cells sorted out internally to the corresponding malignant SV40 virus-transformed 3T3 cells. The transformed 3T3 line (SVT-2) did not sort out from a revertant line selected from SVT-2 cells by resistance to concanavalin A (con A). The revertant cells sorted out externally to the parent BALB/c 3T3 cells, although segregation was generally incomplete. BALB/c 3T3 cells did not sort out from another contact-inhibited line of 3T3 cells derived from Swiss albino mice (Swiss 3T3). Both BALB/c 3T3 and Swiss 3T3 cells sorted out from cells of the contact-inhibited hamster line, NIL B. Instead of a two-layered sphere, however, a three-layered structure was observed with most of the NIL B cells external to the 3T3 cells, and a few NIL B cells comprising the center of the sphere. On the other hand, NIL B cells did not consistently sort out from either the SVT-2 or con A cells. In general, sorting out between pairs of these five lines are slower and less complete than is generally observed between the more extensively studied chick embryonic tissue cells, suggesting that the cultured cells may be more closely related in their adhesive properties. The internal segregation of BALB/c 3T3 cells relative to SVT-2 cells is consistent with the hypothesis that transformed cells are less adhesive than their nontransformed counterparts.

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