Some Effects That Mycoplasmas Have Upon Their Infected Host

  • Eric J. Stanbridge
  • Claus-Jens Doersen
Part of the Cellular Senescence and Somatic Cell Genetics book series (CSSCG, volume 3)


Mycoplasma contamination of cultured cells was first reported in 1956 (1). A multitude of reports have followed this original observation, illustrating the frequent occurrence of these contaminants (reviewed in 2). Although mycoplasmas are common contaminants of tissue cultures many investigators regard them merely as a nuisance and have ignored their presence in experimental procedures since these organisms often exert no obvious effect upon the well-being of the infected cell population.


Mycoplasma Contamination Human Diploid Cell Mitochondrial Protein Synthesis Nucleolar Component Fermentative Mycoplasma 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Robinson, L.B., R.H. Wichelbrausen, and B. Razinan. 1956. Contamination of human cell cultures by pleuropneumonia organisms. Science 124: 1147.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Stanbridge, E. 1971. Mycoplasmas and Cell Cultures. Bacteriol. Rev. 35: 206–227.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Anderson, D.R., H.E. Hopps, M.F. Barile and B.C. Bernheim. 1965. Comparison of the ultrastructure of several rickettsiae, ornithosis virus, and mycoplasma in tissue culture. J. Bacteriol. 90: 1387–1404.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brown, S., M. Teplitz, and J.-P Revel. 1974. Interaction of mycoplasmas with cell cultures as visualized by electron microscopy. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 71: 464–468.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Manchee, R., and D. Taylor-Robinson. 1969. Studies on the nature of receptors involved in attachment of tissue culture cells to mycoplasmas. Brit. J. Exp. Pathol. 50: 66–75Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sobeslaysky, O., B. Prescott, and R.M. Chanock. 1968. Adsorption of Mycoplasma pneumoniae to neuraminic acid receptors of various cells and possible role in virulence. J. Bacteriol. 96: 695–705.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Larin, N.M., N.V. Saxby, and D. Buggey. 1969. Quantitative aspects of Mycoplasma pneumoniae–cell relationships in cultures of lung diploid fibroblasts. J. Hyg. 67: 375–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fogh, J., and H. Fogh. 1967. Morphological and quantitative aspects of mycoplasma-human cell relationships. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 125: 423–430.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Biberfeld, G. and E. Gronowicz. 1967. Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a polyclonal B-cell activator. Nature 261: 238–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Callewaert, D.M., J. Kaplan, W.D. Peterson and J.W. Lightbody. 1975. Suppression of lymphocyte activation by a factor produced by Mycoplasma arginine. J. Immunol. 115: 1662–1664.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Simberkoff, M.S., G.J. Thorbecke, and L. Thomas. 1969. Studies of PPLO infection. V. Inhibitors of lymphocyte mitosis and antibody formation by mycoplasmal extracts. J. Exp. Med. 129: 1163–1181.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Barile, M.F., and B.G. Levinthal. 1968. Possible mechanism for mycoplasma inhibition of lymphocyte transformation induced by phytohaemagglutinin. Nature 219: 751–752.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kraemer, P.M. 1964. Interaction of mycoplasma (PPLO) and murine lymphoma cell cultures. Prevention of cell lysis by arginine. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 115: 206–212.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Butler, M. and R.H. Leach. 1964. A mycoplasma which induces acidity and cytopathic effect in tissue culture. J. Gen. Microbiol. 34: 285–294.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kraemer, P.M., V. Defendi, L. Hayflick, and L. Manson. 1963. Mycoplasma (PPLO) strains with lytic activity for murine lymphoma cells in vitro. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 112: 381–387.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Stanbridge, E., M. Önen, F.T. Perkins, and L. Hayflick. 1969. Karyological and morphological characteristics of human diploid cell strain WI-38 infected with mycoplasmas. Exp. Cell Res. 57: 397–410.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Jezequel, A.-M, M.M. Shreeve, and J.W. Steiner. 1967. Segregation of nucleolar components in mycoplasma-infected cells. Lab Invest. 16: 287–304.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kenny, G. 1973. Contamination of mammalian cells in culture by mycoplasmata. In: Contamination in Tissue Culture ( J. Fogh, Ed.) Academic Press, New York, pp. 108–131.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Schimke, R.T., C.M. Berlin, E.W. Sweeney and W.R. Carroll. 1966. The generation of energy by the arginine dihydrolase pathway in M. hominis. J. Biol. Chem. 241: 2228–2236.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Smith, P.F. 1960. Amino acid metabolism of PPLO. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 79: 543–550.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Stanbridge, E.J., L. Hayflick, and F.T. Perkins. 1971. Modification of amino acid concentrations induced by mycoplasmas in cell culture medium. Nature New Biol. 232: 242–244.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Plagemann, P.G., and D.P. Richeyn. 1974. Transport of nucleosides, nucleic acid bases, choline and glucose by animal cells in culture. Biochem. Biophys. Acta. 344: 263–305.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Perez, A.G., J.H. Kin, A.S. Gelbard, and B. Djordjevic. 1972. Altered incorporation of nucleic acid precursors by mycoplasmainfected mammalian cells in culture. Exp. Cell Res. 70: 301–310.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Schneider, E.L., and E.J. Stanbridge. 1975. Comparison of methods for the detection of mycoplasmal contamination of cell cultures: A review. In Vitro 11: 20–34.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hellung-Larsen, P., and S. Frederiksen. 1976. Influence of mycoplasma infection on the incorporation of different precursors into RNA components of tissue culture cells. Exp. Cell Res. 99: 295–300.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Levine, E.M. 1972. Mycoplasma contamination of animal cell cultures: a simple rapid detection method. Exp. Cell Res. 74: 99–109.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Randall, C.C., L.G. Gafford, G.A. Gentry, and L.A. Lawson. 1965. Lability of host-cell DNA in growing cell cultures due to mycoplasma. Science 149: 1098–1099.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Russell, W.C. 1966. Alterations in the nucleic acid metabolism of tissue culture cells infected by mycoplasmas. Nature 212: 1537–1540.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Levine, E.M., I.G. Burleigh, C.W. Boone, and H. Eagle. 1967. An altered pattern of RNA synthesis in serially propagated human diploid cells. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 57: 431–438.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Markov, G.G.., I. Bradvarova, A. Mintcheva, P. Petrov, N. Shiskov and R.G. Tsanev. 1969. Mycoplasma contamination of cell cultures: interference with 32P-labeling pattern of RNA. Exp. Cell REs. 57: 374–384.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Schneider, E.L., C.J. Epstein, W.L. Epstein, M. Betlach, and G. Abbo Halbasch. 1973. Detection of mycoplasma contamination in cultured human fibroblasts–comparison of biochemical and microbiological techniques. Exp. Cell Res. 79: 343–349.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Schneider, E.L., E.J. Stanbridge, and C.J. Epstein. 1974. Incorporation of 3H-uridine and 3H-uracil into RNA: a simple technique for the detection of mycoplasma contamination of cultured cells. Exp. Cell Res. 84: 311–318.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Stanbridge, E.J., J.A. Tischfield, and E.L. Schneider. 1975. Appearance of hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl transferase activity as a consequence of mycoplasma contamination. Nature: 256: 329–331.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Miller, R.L. and F. Rapp. 1976. Distinguishing cytomegalovirus, mycoplasma, and cellular DNA polymerases. J. Virol. 20: 564–569.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Mills, L.B., E.J. Stanbridge, D. Korn, and D. Sedwick. 1976 DNA polymerase from mycoplasmatales. Fed. Proc. 35: 1590.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Fry, M. and A. Weissbach. 1973. A new DNA dependent DNA polymerase from HeLa cell mitochondria. Biochem. 12: 3602–3608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Milunsky, A. and J.W. Littlefield. 1972. The prenatal diagnosis of inborn errors of metabolism. Ann. Rev. Med. 23: 57–76.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Fogh, J. and H. Fogh. 1965. Chromosome changes in PPLO-infected FL human amnion cells. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 119: 233–238.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Paton, G.R., J.P. Jacobs and F.T. Perkins. 1965. Chromosome changes in human diploid cell cultures infected with mycoplasma. Nature 207: 43–45.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Aula, P. and W.W. Nichols. 1967. The cytogenetic effects of mycoplasma in human leucocyte cultures. J. Cell Physiol. 70: 281–290.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Spolsky, C.M., and J.M. Eisenstadt. 1972. Chloramphenicol resistant mutants of human HeLa cells. Febs Letters 25: 319–324.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    McGarrity, G.J. and L.L. Coriell. 1971. Procedures to reduce contamination of cell cultures. In Vitro 6: 257–265.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    McGarrity, G.J. 1976. Spread and control of mycoplasmal infection of cell cultures. In Vitro 12: 643–647.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric J. Stanbridge
    • 1
  • Claus-Jens Doersen
    • 2
  1. 1.California College of MedicineUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Stanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

Personalised recommendations