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Cell Proliferation Assays

Abstract

The cell proliferation assay is an important tool in the assessment of the immune system function and in the search for new drugs. Productivity with this technique has been limited by the lack of automated, high throughput sample processing and counting equipment. The MicroMate harvester and the TopCount Microplate Scintillation Counter help remove these bottlenecks. Results from a cell proliferation assay are presented which compare the performance of TopCount to the traditional counting method.

Introduction

Cell proliferation assays are employed frequently in immunological, cancer and pharmaceutical research to assess the ability of both natural and synthetic compounds to stimulate or inhibit proliferation of lymphocytes. Common growth factors or mitogens include lectins (e.g., ConA, PWM), interleukins, and antibodies (e.g., anti-CD3). Pharmaceutical agents may suppress the action of these compounds. Proliferation assays with mixed lymphocyte cultures or MLC's are also commonly used to evaluate the compatibility of donor and recipient tissues for organ transplants.

Cell proliferation assays measure the incorporation of a radiolabeled DNA precursor, [3H]-thymidine, into the replicating strands of DNA produced during cell division. Cultures are typically set up in 96-well microplates. The labeled DNA is usually captured with a cell harvester on glass fiber filter disks, which are then placed in liquid scintillation counting (LSC) vials for counting. These procedures are both time and cost intensive. Transfer and processing of the samples in 96 discrete LSC vials limits assay throughput and drives up assay costs.

The MicroMate 196 Cell Harvester offers the ability to harvest 96 samples simultaneously into a standard 8 X 12 format filter plate assembly. Scintillation cocktail is then dispensed onto each filter usi
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