Vascular smooth muscle cell problem

Hastings, Dr R.A. rah22 at
Tue Aug 22 11:31:33 EST 2000

We're having trouble growing VSMCs! The problem seems to come during the
primary growth from the explant (which is a surgically removed varicose
vein). The cells seem to migrate from the explant OK, but during the
expansion of the cells, prior to passaging, they seem to deteriorate. Their
division slows considerably and they look darker and 'messy'. They also seem
to take longer to trypsinise once passaging starts. They stop dividing very
early too.

Cells we grow from frozen stocks which were isolated last year are fine,
even if we grow them in the media we are using today (we are using a new
batch of serum now). So what's going on??! The only difference we can think
of is that last year we were using chick embryo extract during isolation and
growth, but we don't use it anymore. Could this be a factor? If it is, it
must only be important during primary explant culture since frozen cells
from last year are growing fine without it.

Any help would be gratefully received,

Dr Richard Hastings
Cardiovascular Research Institute
University of Leicester 
Clinical Sciences Building
Leicester Royal Infirmary


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