Routine cell line maintenance involves removal of waste products and replenishment of nutrients via replacement of cell culture media. Here, we report that routine maintenance of three discrete cell lines (HSB-CCRF-2 and Jurkat T cells, and phaeo-chromocytoma PC12 cells) decreases the principal cellular antioxidant, glutathione, by up to 42% in HSB-CCRF-2 cells between 60 and 120 min after media replenishment. However, cellular glutathione levels returned to baseline within 5 h after passage. The decrease in glutathione was associated with modulation of the response of Jurkat T cells to apoptotic and mitogenic signals. Methotrexate-induced apoptosis over 16 h, measured as accumulation of apoptotic nucleoids, was decreased from 22 to 17% if cells were exposed to cytotoxic agent 30 min after passage compared with cells exposed to MTX in the absence of passage. In contrast, interleukin-2 (IL-2) production over 24 h in response to the toxin phytohaemagglutinin (PHA), was increased by 34% if cells were challenged 2 h after passage compared with PHA treatment in the absence of passage. This research highlights the presence of a window of time after cell passage of non-adherent cells that may lead to over- or under-estimation of subsequent cell responses to toxins, which is dependent on cellular antioxidant capacity or redox state. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- cell culture
- T cells