Recently, the use of overexpression of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) has led to the generation of immortalized human cell lines. However, this cell immortalization approach has not been reported in well-differentiated mouse cells, such as renal epithelial cells. We sought to establish and then characterize a mouse collecting duct cell line, using ectopic expression of mTERT. Isolated primary cortical collecting duct (CCD) cell lines were transduced with mouse (m)TERT, using a lentiviral vector. mTERT-negative cells did not survive blasticidin selection, whereas mTERT-immortalized cells proliferated in selection media for over 40 subpassages. mTERT messenger RNA and telomerase activity was elevated in these cells, compared with an SV40-immortalized cell line. Flow cytometry with Dolichos biflorus agglutinin was used to select the CCD principal cells, and we designated this cell line mTERT-CCD. Cells were well differentiated and exhibited morphological characteristics typically found in renal epithelial cells, such as tight junction formation, microvilli, and primary cilia. Further characterization using standard immunofluorescence revealed abundant expression of aquaporin-2 and the vasopressin type 2 receptor. mTERT-CCD cells exhibited cAMP-stimulated/benzamil-inhibited whole cell currents. Whole cell patch-clamp currents were also enhanced after a 6-day treatment with aldosterone. In conclusion, we have successfully used mTERT to immortalize mouse collecting duct cells that retain the basic in vivo phenotypic characteristics of collecting duct cells. This technique should be valuable in generating cell lines from genetically engineered mouse models. Copyright © 2010 the American Physiological Society.