Volume and Metabolism of C-6 Glioma Cells Suspended in Hypotonic Medium: An In-Vitro Model to Study Cytotoxic Brain Edema

  • O. Kempski
  • M. Zimmer
  • L. Chaussy
  • A. Baethmann


The mechanisms effective in the development of cytotoxic edema are far from being understood as opposed to the pathogenesis of vasogenic edema. The multitude of simultaneous changes occurring in brain in-vivo after a cytotoxic insult (i.e. breakdown of intra-extracellular ion-gradients, release of metabolites, and eventually of toxic substances into the extracellular space, acidosis, anoxia, and dysregulation of neurotransmitter homeostasis, etc.) obscures the analysis of this type of edema. It is impossible to control, or monitor in-vivo these factors simultaneously. Therefore, an in-vitro model has been developed in order to investigate cell volume control under pathophysiological conditions and to study the role of suspected brain edema mediators3,8. For that purpose, cell volume changes of suspended glial cells were measured under strictly controlled extracellular conditions. In additional experiments environmental parameters, as e.g. PO2, pH, osmolarity and ionic composition were varied systematically. Oxygen consumption was studied as a measure of cellular energy metabolism. Intracellular electrolyte concentrations were determined to analyze potential mechanisms for the observed changes of cell volume. This is a report on the swelling behavior of C-6 glioma cells serving as a model for cells with glial characteristics under hypoosmotic stress. Osmotic edema is not only of clinical significance (e.g. in water intoxication or iatrogenic overhydration in hyperosmolar coma) but it also proved to be an appropriate model to test the regulatory mechanisms maintaining a constant cell volume.


Cell Volume Glioma Cell Regulatory Volume Decrease Ehrlich Ascites Tumor Cells6 Cell Volume Regulation 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. Kempski
    • 1
  • M. Zimmer
    • 1
  • L. Chaussy
    • 1
  • A. Baethmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Surgical Research, Klinikum GroszhadernUniversity of MunichWest-Germany

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