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Exp Cell Res. 1991 Jan;192(1):271-7.

Serum inhibition of proliferation of serum-free mouse embryo cells.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97331-6503.


Serum-free mouse embryo (SFME) cells, derived in medium supplemented with insulin, transferrin, high density lipoprotein, epidermal growth factor, and fibronectin, do not undergo crisis, maintain a predominantly diploid karyotype with no detectable chromosomal abnormalities for well over 100 population doublings in vitro, and are growth inhibited by concentrations of serum that are growth-stimulatory for most cell lines in culture. Serum inhibition of SFME cell proliferation was reversible and was not prevented by addition of the supplements of the serum-free medium, even when added repeatedly during the culture period. The serum effect on SFME cell proliferation could be detected after incubation in serum-containing medium for as little as 8 h. SFME cells in serum-containing medium were arrested in the G1 phase of the cell cycle with a greatly reduced rate of incorporation of precursors into DNA and thymidine kinase activity, while a reduction in rate of incorporation of amino acids into protein was not observed. SFME cultures maintained for extended periods in serum-containing medium underwent a crisis-like period followed by the appearance of variant cells capable of growing in serum-supplemented medium. These cells exhibited abnormal karyotype and were resistant to several inhibitors of proliferation active on the parent SFME cell type.

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