Cell size and mutual cell adhesion
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HeLa cells harvested from density-inhibited or fast growing suspension cultures, were incubated in NaCl solutions of different tonicity. Cell size enlargement produced by hypotonicity is accompanied by an increased sedimentation rate of the density-inhibited cells, whereas no appreciable change is observed in the sedimentation rate of fast growing cells. Hypotonicity also has no effect on the sedimentation rate of density-inhibited cells which previously had been treated with neuraminidase or trypsin. It is shown that the effect of hypotonicity on density-inhibited cells cannot be ascribed to release of cell surface sialic acids during hypotonic incubation. Several arguments are presented which indicate that the changes in sedimentation rate, as measured in the rotating suspension system, are not the direct consequence of the alterations in cell size, but rather must be attributed to differences in intercellular adhesiveness resulting from the size alterations. Analogous changes in intercellular adhesiveness and cell size are shown to occur during growth in isotonic suspension culture. The results can be explained by assuming that changes in cell size affect the intercellular adhesiveness by modifying the extent to which cell surface sialic acids counteract adhesion.
KeywordsHeLa Cell Sedimentation Rate Cell Size Suspension Culture Sialic Acid
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