Article

Cytotechnology

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 87-93

First online:

Apoptosis and its control in cell culture systems

  • R.P. SinghAffiliated withCentre for Biochemical Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham
  • , G. FinkaAffiliated withCentre for Biochemical Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham
  • , A.N. EmeryAffiliated withCentre for Biochemical Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham
  • , M. Al-RubeaiAffiliated withCentre for Biochemical Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham

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Abstract

Apoptosis is a form of programmed cell death which exhibits highly distinctive morphology. Research activity in this area has increased substantially in recent years, primarily due to the realisation that disregulation of apoptosis is involved in the development of a number of pathological conditions, including cancer and AIDS. However, it is now clear that apoptosis also represents the dominant form of cell death during the culture of industrially important cell lines. This review focuses on the induction of apoptosis during industrial cell cultures as well as the effects of the apoptosis suppresser gene bcl-2 on cell survival in conditions relevant to bioreaction environments. We also present new data which demonstrates that bcl-2 can protect cells from apoptosis induced by oxygen deprivation, a finding which has important implications for large scale and intensive cultivation of cells. We also describe experiments which suggest that bcl-2 can reduce the specific nutrient consumption rate of cells.