Alkaline phosphatase content and the effects of prednisolone on mammalian cells in culture.


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The alkaline phosphatase content of different tissue culture cell lines has been shown to vary from no detectable activity to high enzyme concentration. Within the epithelial lines studied alkaline phosphatase is either constitutive or inducible. Two epithelial cell strains in which alkaline phosphatase was "absent" could be induced to develop significant amounts of the enzyme when grown in the presence of Delta(1)-hydrocortisone. Phosphate did not repress enzyme induction by prednisolone. Under conditions of deadaptation the induced enzyme was diluted by cell multiplication. The mouse fibroblastic L line and several human fibroblastic lines did not contain alkaline phosphatase when grown under the conditions described nor could they be induced to produce the enzyme when cultivated in medium with prednisolone. Delta(1)-Hydrocortisone has other characteristic effects on established mammalian cell cultures which vary among cell lines. Human epithelial lines show reduction in cell multiplication with increase in mitotic index. The cytoplasm is increased and cell volume is nearly doubled. Mouse fibroblasts show a similar reduction in cell multiplication with a decrease in mitotic index. There is no increase in cell cytoplasm. Human fibroblast strains show no inhibition of multiplication or alteration in total cell protein when grown in medium containing prednisolone. Antisera prepared against "negative" prednisolone-inducible human cell lines and against a positive human line inhibited alkaline phosphatase activity to an equal degree.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-485
Number of pages47
JournalThe Journal of general physiology
StatePublished - Jan 1962

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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