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MES-SA is an epithelial cell line that was isolated in 1980 from the uterus of a White, 56-year-old, female patient with uterine sarcoma. This cell line was deposited by BI Sikic. 

This cell line is now available as CRL-1976.NM formulated in the new McCoy’s 5A Medium, ABP-free (ATCC 30-2011).

Product category
Human cells
Homo sapiens, human
Cell type
epithelial cell
Sarcoma; Uterine
3D cell culture
Product format
Storage conditions
Vapor phase of liquid nitrogen
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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.

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Detailed product information


Growth properties
The MES-SA cell line was established from a surgical tumor specimen obtained at the time of hysterectomy.
Initially, the cells were grown in soft agar, and later they were transferred to multiwell plates.

56 years
This is a hypo-diploid human cell line with the modal chromosome number of 45 in 48% of cells examined. The rate of polyploidy was 2.7%. There were five or six marker chromosomes present in each cell. Whereas t(5q6p), 10q+, and 14q+ markers were common in all cells examined, the chromosome combination of either double copy N21 lacking M5 (66.7%) or t(21qter--->C--->?)(M5)/single copy N21/minute metacentric (33.3%) distinguishes the two coexisting clones. Both X chromosomes were normal.
Yes, readily form colonies in soft agar.
Yes, tumors developed within 21 days at 100% frequency (5/5) in nude mice inoculated subcutaneously with 10(7) cells.
The tumor was described as a poorly differentiated uterine sarcoma.

The nonepithelial origin of the cells was supported by ultrastructural studies and the absence of staining for mucin.

The cells are sensitive to a number of chemotherapeutic agents including doxorubicin, dactinomycin, mitomycin C, taxol and bleomycin. They are resistant to vinblastine, dacarbazine, cisplatin, melphalan, vincristine, methotrexate and etoposide.

This cell line is now available as CRL-1976.NM formulated in the new McCoy's 5A Medium, ABP-free (ATCC 30-2011).

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 McCoy's 5a Medium Modified, Catalog No. 30-2007. To make the complete growth medium, add the following components to the base medium: fetal bovine serum to a final concentration of 10%.
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 centrifuge tube containing 9.0 mL complete culture medium. and spin at approximately 125 x g for 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Resuspend cell pellet with the recommended complete medium (see the specific batch information for the culture recommended dilution ratio). and dispense into a 25 cm2 or a 75 cm2 culture flask.  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).
  5. 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
Remove spent medium, add fresh EDTA solution (0.15 g disodium EDTA, 4.0 g NaCL, 0.28 g sodium bicarbonate, 0.5 g dextrose and 0.2 g KCl dissolved in 500 mL double distilled water). Allow the cells to sit at room temperature for a few minutes, and dislodge the cells by rapping the side of the flask sharply with the palm of your hand. Add fresh medium, aspirate and dispense into new flasks.
Subcultivation Ratio: A subcultivation ratio of 1:6 to 1:8 is recommended
Medium Renewal: 2 to 3 times per week
Note: Newborn calf serum may be substituted for fetal bovine serum.
Reagents for cryopreservation
Complete growth medium supplemented with 5% (v/v) DMSO (ATCC 4-X)

Quality control specifications

Mycoplasma contamination
Not detected
Population doubling time
Approximately 22 to 24 hrs
STR profiling
Amelogenin: X
CSF1PO: 11
D13S317: 11,13
D16S539: 11,12
D5S818: 13
D7S820: 7,11
TH01: 6
TPOX: 8,11
vWA: 18
D3S1358: 14,17
D21S11: 29,30.2
D18S51: 12,15
Penta_E: 7,10
Penta_D: 13,15
D8S1179: 14,15
FGA: 20,25
D19S433: 14.2,15
D2S1338: 17


Deposited as
Homo sapiens
BI Sikic
Year of origin

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

Harker WG, et al. Development and characterization of a human sarcoma cell line, MES-SA, sensitive to multiple drugs. Cancer Res. 43: 4943-4950, 1983. PubMed: 6883344

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