Influence of culture passages on growth kinetics and adenovirus vector production for gene therapy in monolayer and suspension cultures of HEK 293 cells
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To characterize the changes in cell growth rate and adenovirus vector (AdV) production capability of 293 cells during culture passages, 293 cells obtained at the 31st culture passage from ATCC (293M #31) were maintained as a monolayer culture and 293 cells obtained at an unknown culture passage from Invitrogen (293S) were maintained as suspension culture. In monolayer culture, the specific growth rate (μ) of 293M cells increased rapidly with culture passage up to passage 65 and thereafter became saturated. The μ of 293M passage 43 (#43) was 0.29 day−1, while the average μ of 293M from #66 to #86 was 0.74±0.01 day−1 (average ± standard deviation). It was also noted that the cells became smaller in size during early culture passages. AdV production was also influenced by the number of culture passages. The AdV titer in the culture of 293M #66 was ca. tenfold higher than that of 293M #44, resulting from both a higher cell concentration and a higher AdV titer per cell at #66. In contrast, the μ, cell size, and AdV production of 293S cells in suspension culture did not change significantly as the culture passage number increased up to #40. Taken together, the culture passage influenced cell growth and AdV production of 293M cells in monolayer culture, but not those of 293S cells in suspension culture.