Molecular Growth Requirements of Single Mammalian Cells

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Science  08 Nov 1957:
Vol. 126, Issue 3280, pp. 961-964
DOI: 10.1126/science.126.3280.961

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The molecular nutritional requirements exhibited by mammalian cells can vary with the following conditions: whether the cells are plated singly or in massive inoculum; whether a clonal strain or a mixture of different genotypes is employed; whether the macromolecular fraction of serum used as a supplement was previously exposed to prolonged dialysis or other procedures which may release bound micromolecules. In addition, the nature of the medium in which the cells were previously grown, the time permitted for incubation of the cells in the test medium, and the presence of substances or conditions which may specifically introduce the need for certain molecules to preserve balance can strongly influence nutritional requirements. This great versatility may reflect the ability of the mammalian cell to assume different metabolic states characteristic of specific types of differentiation. Under certain conditions, growth of single HeLa cells of the S3 clonal strain requires the presence of cholesterol at a level of 0.5 to 1 microgram per milliliter.