Impact of antibiotics on function of human cells in culture

by Alexey Bersenev on June 10, 2015 · 0 comments

in cell culture

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Recently, I came across very interesting study, which assessed impact of antibiotics on differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells. Antibiotics is still commonly used ancillary material in clinical cell cultures. Interestingly, the authors noted that despite wide use of antibiotics in human cell culture, their impact on cell physiology function remains unknown:

We accomplished a very extensive literature review and, surprisingly, only found a very small number of reports on this topic, and none of them in human.

They tested the following commonly used antibiotics combination: penicillin 100 U/ml-streptomycin 100 μg/ml-amphotericin 0.25 μg/ml (Life Technologies #15240-062); or gentamicin 5 μg/ml (Life Technologies #15710-064). The authors demonstrated that these antibiotics significantly impact differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells in culture. The changes they describe in antibiotics+ culture in comparison with control:

  • increased Nile Red staining
  • increased leptin production
  • increase in ROS production

The authors made a conclusion:

We show that these antibiotics affect cell differentiation. Therefore, antibiotics should not be used in cell culture, because aseptic techniques make these compounds unnecessary.

I totally agree. Less ancillary materials in clinical culture – less headache. I hope there will be more studies about potential impact of different ancillary materials on physiology and function of clinical cell culture.

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