Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2013 Jun;57(6):2768-79. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00044-13. Epub 2013 Apr 9.

Metabolomics guides rational development of a simplified cell culture medium for drug screening against Trypanosoma brucei.

Author information

Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology, Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom.


In vitro culture methods underpin many experimental approaches to biology and drug discovery. The modification of established cell culture methods to make them more biologically relevant or to optimize growth is traditionally a laborious task. Emerging metabolomic technology enables the rapid evaluation of intra- and extracellular metabolites and can be applied to the rational development of cell culture media. In this study, untargeted semiquantitative and targeted quantitative metabolomic analyses of fresh and spent media revealed the major nutritional requirements for the growth of bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei. The standard culture medium (HMI11) contained unnecessarily high concentrations of 32 nutrients that were subsequently removed to make the concentrations more closely resemble those normally found in blood. Our new medium, Creek's minimal medium (CMM), supports in vitro growth equivalent to that in HMI11 and causes no significant perturbation of metabolite levels for 94% of the detected metabolome (<3-fold change; α = 0.05). Importantly, improved sensitivity was observed for drug activity studies in whole-cell phenotypic screenings and in the metabolomic mode of action assays. Four-hundred-fold 50% inhibitory concentration decreases were observed for pentamidine and methotrexate, suggesting inhibition of activity by nutrients present in HMI11. CMM is suitable for routine cell culture and offers important advantages for metabolomic studies and drug activity screening.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center