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PC-12 is a cell line that was derived from a transplantable rat pheochromocytoma. This cell line can be used in neuroscience and toxicology research.
Product category
Animal cells
Rattus norvegicus, rat
small irregularly shaped cells
Adrenal gland
3D cell culture
High-throughput screening
Product format
Storage conditions
Vapor phase of liquid nitrogen
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Price: $555.00 EA
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ATCC determines the biosafety level of a material based on our risk assessment as guided by the current edition of Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is your responsibility to understand the hazards associated with the material per your organization’s policies and procedures as well as any other applicable regulations as enforced by your local or national agencies.

ATCC highly recommends that appropriate personal protective equipment is always used when handling vials. For cultures that require storage in liquid nitrogen, it is important to note that some vials may leak when submersed in liquid nitrogen and will slowly fill with liquid nitrogen. Upon thawing, the conversion of the liquid nitrogen back to its gas phase may result in the vial exploding or blowing off its cap with dangerous force creating flying debris. Unless necessary, ATCC recommends that these cultures be stored in the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen rather than submersed in liquid nitrogen.

Required Products

These products are vital for the proper use of this item and have been confirmed as effective in supporting functionality. If you use alternative products, the quality and effectiveness of the item may be affected.

Detailed product information


Specific applications
This cell line is a suitable transfection host.


Growth properties
Mixed: floating aggregates of round cells with some attached cells
The PC-12 cell line was derived from a transplantable rat pheochromocytoma.
40 chromosomes; 38 autosomes plus XY
Yes, in New England Deaconess Hospital strain rats
Genes expressed
catecholamines: dopamine; norepinephrine
Expression markers
Nerve growth factor (NGF), expressed
The cells respond reversibly to NGF by induction of the neuronal phenotype when plated on Collagen IV coated culture flasks.
The cells do not synthesize epinephrine.

Handling information

Unpacking and storage instructions
  1. Check all containers for leakage or breakage.
  2. Remove the frozen cells from the dry ice packaging and immediately place the cells at a temperature below ­-130°C, preferably in liquid nitrogen vapor, until ready for use.
Complete medium
The base medium for this cell line is ATCC-formulated RPMI-1640 Medium, Catalog No. 30-2001. To make the complete growth medium, add the following components to the base medium:
  • heat-inactivated horse serum to a final concentration of 10%
  • fetal bovine serum to a final concentration of 5%
95% Air, 5% CO2
Handling procedure

To insure the highest level of viability, thaw the vial and initiate the culture as soon as possible upon receipt. If upon arrival, continued storage of the frozen culture is necessary, it should be stored in liquid nitrogen vapor phase and not at -70°C. Storage at -70°C will result in loss of viability.

  1. Thaw the vial by gentle agitation in a 37°C water bath. To reduce the possibility of contamination, keep the O-ring and cap out of the water. Thawing should be rapid (approximately 2 minutes).
  2. Remove the vial from the water bath as soon as the contents are thawed, and decontaminate by dipping in or spraying with 70% ethanol. All of the operations from this point on should be carried out under strict aseptic conditions.
  3. Transfer the vial contents to a 50 ml tube containing 9 mL complete growth medium. Centrifuge cells at 180 - 225 x g for 8-15 minutes at room temperature. Remove and discard supernatant. Resuspend cells in 5 mL complete growth medium. Break up cell clusters by gently aspirating cells through a 22g needle 4 or 5 times. (see the specific batch information for the culture recommended dilution ratio.It is important to avoid excessive alkalinity of the medium during recovery of the cells. It is suggested that, prior to the addition of the vial contents, the culture vessel containing the complete growth medium be placed into the incubator for at least 15 minutes to allow the medium to reach its normal pH (7.0 to 7.6). pH (7.0 to 7.6).
  4. Incubate the culture at 37°C in a suitable incubator. A 5% CO2 in air atmosphere is recommended if using the medium described on this product sheet.

Subculturing procedure
Protocol: Volumes used for this protocol are for a 75cm2 flask; proportionally reduce or increase amount of dissociation medium for culture vessels of other sizes. Corning T-75 flasks (catalog #431464) are recommended for subculturing this product.
  • Transfer cell suspension to centrifuge tube. Centrifuge cells at 180 to 225 xg for 8-15 minutes at room temperature.
  • Remove and discard supernatant leaving cell pellet.
  • Resuspend the cell pellet with 5 mls of fresh medium (or use an appropriate volume of medium which is a multiple of 5 to facilitate the next step).
  • Gently aspirate each 5 ml aliquot of cells 4 or 5 times with a new 20 ml syringe outfitted with a 22g (1½ in.) needle to break up cell clusters.
  • Add appropriate aliquots of the cell suspension to new 75 cm2 flask with 10-15 ml fresh growth medium. Seed flask 5 x 10(5) to 1 x 10(6) viable cells/ml or use subcultivation ratio of 1:2 to 1:4.
  • Place culture vessels in incubator at 37ºC Subculture when cell density reaches between 2-4 x 10(6) viable cells/ml.
Medium Renewal: Every 2 to 3 days

Quality control specifications

Mycoplasma contamination
Not detected
Population doubling time
Approximately 48 hrs


Deposited as
Rattus sp.
B Patterson
Cross references
GenBank AF311055 Rattus norvegicus thioredoxin mRNA, complete cds.
GenBank AF319950 Rattus norvegicus glutaredoxin mRNA, complete cds.
GenBank AF311054 Rattus norvegicus APEX (Apex) mRNA, partial cds, alternatively spliced.

Legal disclaimers

Intended use
This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use.

The product is provided 'AS IS' and the viability of ATCC® products is warranted for 30 days from the date of shipment, provided that the customer has stored and handled the product according to the information included on the product information sheet, website, and Certificate of Analysis. For living cultures, ATCC lists the media formulation and reagents that have been found to be effective for the product. While other unspecified media and reagents may also produce satisfactory results, a change in the ATCC and/or depositor-recommended protocols may affect the recovery, growth, and/or function of the product. If an alternative medium formulation or reagent is used, the ATCC warranty for viability is no longer valid.  Except as expressly set forth herein, no other warranties of any kind are provided, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, manufacture according to cGMP standards, typicality, safety, accuracy, and/or noninfringement.


This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use. Any proposed commercial use is prohibited without a license from ATCC.

While ATCC uses reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information on this product sheet, ATCC makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy. Citations from scientific literature and patents are provided for informational purposes only. ATCC does not warrant that such information has been confirmed to be accurate or complete and the customer bears the sole responsibility of confirming the accuracy and completeness of any such information.

This product is sent on the condition that the customer is responsible for and assumes all risk and responsibility in connection with the receipt, handling, storage, disposal, and use of the ATCC product including without limitation taking all appropriate safety and handling precautions to minimize health or environmental risk. As a condition of receiving the material, the customer agrees that any activity undertaken with the ATCC product and any progeny or modifications will be conducted in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines. This product is provided 'AS IS' with no representations or warranties whatsoever except as expressly set forth herein and in no event shall ATCC, its parents, subsidiaries, directors, officers, agents, employees, assigns, successors, and affiliates be liable for indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any kind in connection with or arising out of the customer's use of the product. While reasonable effort is made to ensure authenticity and reliability of materials on deposit, ATCC is not liable for damages arising from the misidentification or misrepresentation of such materials.

Please see the material transfer agreement (MTA) for further details regarding the use of this product. The MTA is available at

Permits & Restrictions

Import Permit for the State of Hawaii

If shipping to the U.S. state of Hawaii, you must provide either an import permit or documentation stating that an import permit is not required. We cannot ship this item until we receive this documentation. Contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Plant Industry Division, Plant Quarantine Branch to determine if an import permit is required.



Curated Citations

Levi A, et al. Molecular cloning of a gene sequence regulated by nerve growth factor. Science 229: 393-395, 1985. PubMed: 3839317

Greene LA, Tischler AS. Establishment of a noradrenergic clonal line of rat adrenal pheochromocytoma cells which respond to nerve growth factor. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 73: 2424-2428, 1976. PubMed: 1065897

Biocca S, et al. A macromolecular structure favouring microtubule assembly in NGF- differentiated pheochromocytoma cells (PC12). EMBO J. 2: 643-648, 1983. PubMed: 6641712

Weber E, et al. Distinct functional properties of Rab3A and Rab3B in PC12 neuroendocrine cells. J. Biol. Chem. 271: 6963-6971, 1996. PubMed: 8636125

U.S. Pharmacopeia USP Monographs: Small Intestinal Submucosa Wound Matrix. Rockville, MD. USP32-NF27, 2005

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