The hippocampal formation elaborates trophic factors such as nerve growth factor (NGF) to support the cholinergic innervation it receives from the septal region. To further study the trophic interactions of this pathway, hippocampal cells from embryonic day 18 and postnatal day 21 mice were immortalized via somatic cell fusion to N18TG2 neuroblastoma cells. The hippocampal cell lines exhibit morphological and cytoskeletal features which are typical of their neuronal parents but which are not expressed by the neuroblastoma parent. When differentiated with retinoic acid, the hippocampal cell lines exhibit electrophysiological features similar to cultured hippocampal neurons. Many of the lines constitutively express high levels of NGF, and at least one cell line exerts a non-NGF trophic effect on the expression of choline acetyltransferase by septal neurons in vitro. These cell lines are potentially useful for investigating the neurochemical and excitable properties of hippocampal neurons and identifying novel trophic activities that promote the development and maintenance of the septohippocampal pathway.