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Exp Neurol. 1998 Jun;151(2):194-202.

Fast and sensitive method for simultaneous measurement of cell proliferation rate and drug sensitivity in rat cerebral cortex.

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  • 1Clinical Research Center, Huddinge University Hospital, Huddinge, Sweden.


A proliferation assay based on the production of mini-units of tissue was adopted and modified for the simultaneous determination of cell proliferation rate and the effect of genistein in rat cerebral cortex. Mini-units of tissue were produced from rat cerebral cortex immediately after killing the animal and incubated with culture medium containing 3H-methyl-thymidine during 90 min. The proliferation rate was assessed by measurement of 3H-methyl-thymidine incorporation into trichloroacetic acid insoluble material/mg of protein/min. The mini-unit method preserves the neural-cell topological relation existing in vivo and, in addition, has several additional advantages: (1) the short incubation time required limits the metabolic changes, (2) the sensitivity to drugs can be assessed simultaneously with the cell proliferation rate, (3) the complete procedure can be performed within 4-6 h, and (4) many experiments can be performed with the tissue from one animal. Genistein in doses from 10 to 100 microM inhibited cell proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner. The percentage of inhibition was highest in young animals and decreased with increasing age. This method is a powerful tool for the study of drugs with short-time onset mechanisms of action and can be useful for the screening of new drugs.

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