Do cells feel pain?

A.F. Simpson AFS7 at
Wed Feb 23 18:55:49 EST 2000

Ken Hoekstra wrote:

> Im actually looking for resources for ways of determining/measuring stress
> (in the broadest form) in cells. If your cell twitches, flinches
> etc.. during the addition of chemicals etc.., is this stressful or can I
> even go so far as to say "painful" to the cell?

> Could someone define/help me determine when nervous sensation is present
> in developing rat/mice cells (any type) for example? At this time, is it
> possible to measure the "stress" the cell is exposed too?

I'm not sure whether you're talknig about cell culture (growing of
monolayers or suspension cells) or whether your mean culture of embryos.

I don't know about embryos, but cultured cells in the first meaning have
no nervous system and hence no ability to feel 'pain' in any meaningful
sense.  'Stress', in terms of a cells reaction to metabolic or heat
changes can be measured by looking at proteins which cells produce when
under these conditions - if course, you'd need a fair number of cells
and they'd need to be killed and processed in order to measure them.

Furthermore, think about the sterile proceedures your tissue culture
facility undergoes every day.  Do the cleaning staff have to have an
animal care certificate because they use bleach on the floor and thereby
cause stress to the bacteria down there?

> Ken


More information about the Cellbiol mailing list