Cell Biology

Long-Lived Cells

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Science  28 Oct 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5748, pp. 591
DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5748.591c

Long-term storage of cells at very low temperatures can be very costly.

Therefore, simple and reliable methods to maintain stable cells at ambient temperature would be desirable. Prior methods have used trehalose or glycan as additives for relatively short-term cell storage of air-dried cells from monolayers. Jack et al. now demonstrate storage of mammalian tissue culture cells at room temperature for up to 6 weeks. In this method, cells are grown in such a way that they cannot attach to the culture vessel surface and form three-dimensional multicellular aggregates. The surface cells of these “spheroids” become quiescent. The spheroids can then be stored on agarose under partial vacuum with antistatic control in the dark at room temperature. After rehydration, cells were able to recover and grow when cultured further. Cell survival and recovery after rehydration depend on endogenous cytokine production and the subsequent activation of JNK and NF-kappa B signaling. Hopefully, the ability to induce metabolic arrest in human cells without chemical intervention will be useful to study cell cycle control and aging as well as other metabolic processes and disease. — BAP

J. Cell Physiol. 10.1002/jcp.20499 (2005).

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