Appropriate citation of placenta cell lines 3A(tPA-30-1) and 3A-sub E [post crisis of 3A(tPA-30-1)] in medical literature.

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Obstetrics & Gynecology

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MeSH Headings

Pregnancy, Female, Placenta, Long Interspersed Nucleotide Elements, Publications, Cell Line


Introduction: To determine how often placenta cell lines 3A (tPA-30-1) and 3A-sub E [post crisis of 3A (tPA-30-1)] are appropriately cited, or identified, as "term"-gestation placental cell lines in medical literature.

Methods: We performed a literature search on two databases, PubMed and One Search, using the terms "3A (tPA-30-1)," "3Asub-E," "3AsubE," "tPA-30-1," "tPA30-1," and "3A AND (placenta OR placental OR trophoblast OR trophoblastic) AND (cell OR line OR cell line)." Of the 218 citations retrieved, 181 were excluded due to duplication, article content irrelevance or lack of access to a full manuscript. The remaining 37 citations were thoroughly reviewed for 1)the presence of a full citation as designated by the supplier, and 2)the identification of the placental lines as "term."

Results: Of the 37 eligible citations included in the study, five demonstrated complete identifications of the placental cell lines of interest, while 32 demonstrated partial identifications that failed to match the designations provided by the manufacturer. Furthermore, of the 37 citations, eight accurately identified the cell lines as "term," while 27 lacked any description of gestational age, and two incorrectly identified them as "first trimester" cell lines. Overall, only three citations contained both a full citation and correct identification as a "term" placenta cell line.

Discussion: Only 5 of the 37 (13.5%) publications demonstrated a complete citation and only 8 publications accurately identified the gestational age of the placenta cell line as "term". Such findings confirm the need for a representative set of standards for the documentation of cell lines to improve the quality of publications in the scientific community.



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