||In 1975, the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, under contract to the
National Institute on Aging (NIA) to establish and maintain an Aging Cell
Repository, was directed to establish and bank for future research a new
human diploid cell line as a replacement for the cell line known as WI-38.
WI-38 had been established and characterized in the early 1960's as a
standard (reference cell line) in the burgeoning field of cell biology;
but in the early 70's, the NIH stock of low passage WI-38 cells had become
seriously depleted. The cell line developed at Coriell, identified as IMR-
90, was the first of several lines planned in support of NIA research
programs and general cell biology research. IMR-90 was developed and
characterized in such a way as to parallel WI-38 as closely as possible to
minimize the variables in replacing WI-38 within ongoing laboratory
programs. Extensive frozen stocks of IMR-90 at various passages were laid
down to ensure future resources for cell biology research. The IMR-90 cell
line, like WI-38, was derived from lung tissue of a human female embryo
following therapeutic abortion.