Disaggregated mouse embryo cells, grown in monolayers, underwent a progressive decline in growth rate upon successive transfer, the rapidity of the decline depending, among other things, on the inoculation density. Nevertheless, nearly all cultures developed into established lines within 3 months of culture. The first sign of the emergence of an established line was the ability of the cells to maintain a constant or rising potential growth rate. This occurred while the cultures were morphologically unchanged. The growth rate continued to increase until it equaled or exceeded that of the original culture. The early established cells showed an increasing metabolic autonomy, as indicated by decreasing dependence on cell-to-cell feeding. It is suggested that the process of establishment involves an alteration in cell permeability properties. Chromosome studies indicated that the cells responsible for the upturn in growth rate were diploid, but later the population shifted to the tetraploid range, often very rapidly. Still later, marker chromosomes appeared. Different lines acquired different properties, depending on the culture conditions employed; one line developed which is extremely sensitive to contact inhibition.

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