U87 cells

Emir Khatipov khatipovNO at NOuchicago.edu
Thu Sep 27 16:51:12 EST 2001

I did not work with U87, but I know that this is a cancer cell line (if I am
not mistaken, they are derived from brain cancer), and clumping of cancer
cells is quite common. LNCaP cells (prostate cancer) that I work with do it
al the time. There are few things I could recommend you to try to see if the
cells start clumping less. One thing is the volume of the medium you grow
the cells in. Try using more media. More media means longer time before the
cells acidify it. High acidity is one of the unfavorable growth factors, and
it will cause the cells stick together to survive. You might check if your
cells will grow on other higher buffered media, or check bicarbonate
concentration in the medium you use and CO2 concentration in your incubator.
Third thing, your cells might be less prone to clumping in richer media
(e.g. RPMI vs. DMEM). Another thing, you may try using plasticware coated
with poly-lysine, collagen, etc. for increased binding of the cells. The
stronger the binding of the cells to plastic, the flatter cells would

And don't treat them too hard. You might even be able to flush them from the
plastic without tripsinization. In my impression, even if you don't brake
the clumps before plating, the cells will spread on the plastic anyway (and
then start forming clumps).

- Emir

"Jennifer Robertson" <jrobertson1 at sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:9cFs7.9945$%r.2819216 at news20.bellglobal.com...
> Has anyone ever cultured U87 cells? I think mine are behaving strangely,
> however the ATCC site doesn't give much information about them. Mine seem
> clump before even reaching 50% confluence. Even when I suspended and
> replated them at about 70% confluence the cells settled and clumped again.
> Is this normal for this cell line? I know i'm seperating the clumps well
> I triturate the begeezus out of them and I can see that its all seperated.
> Any input would be appreciated.
> J

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