Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 60, Issue 6, pp 1099–1106

Rethinking synchronization of mammalian cells for cell cycle analysis

  • S. Cooper

DOI: 10.1007/s00018-003-2253-2

Cite this article as:
Cooper, S. CMLS, Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2003) 60: 1099. doi:10.1007/s00018-003-2253-2


An analysis of different classes of forced or batch synchronization methods reveals why these methods, in theory, do not produce synchronized cultures. Cells may be aligned for a particular property after specific treatments, but these aligned cells do not correspond to any particular cell age during the normal cell cycle. The experimental methods analyzed are those that arrest cells with a G1 phase amount of DNA, those that inhibit DNA synthesis, and those that arrest cells at mitosis. Release of arrested cells from inhibition does not produce cells reflecting cells during the normal division cycle. Thus, cells produced by batch or forcing methods are not experimental models for analysis of the normal cell cycle.

Key words: Cell cycle; synchronization; double-thymidine block; G1 phase arrest; nocodazole; mitotic arrest. 

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Cooper
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0620 (USA), Fax + 1 734 764 3562, e-mail: cooper@umich.edu US