Role of vitamins in determining apoptosis and extent of suppression by bcl-2 during hybridoma cell culture

Apoptosis. 2002 Jun;7(3):231-9. doi: 10.1023/a:1015343616059.


The identification of cell culture media components that may instigate apoptosis in cell lines used for the production of commercial antibodies and recombinant proteins, is crucial to aid the development of improved media for reduced cell death and to understand the role of nutrient components in cell survival and maintenance. Here we determine the impact of depriving all or individual B-group media vitamins either, D-CaPantothenate (DCaP), choline chloride (CC), riboflavin (Rb), i-inositol, nicotinamide (NAM), pyridoxal hydrochloride (PyrHCl), folic acid (FA), or thiamine hydrochloride (ThHCl) on hybridoma cell growth and viability using fluorescence microscopy techniques. Cultivation in media deprived of all these vitamins prevented cell proliferation from reaching maximum capacity while increasing cell death rate, predominantly via apoptosis. Deletion of either DCaP, CC, or Rb showed that these components were most likely responsible for the development of apoptosis. Exclusion of either i-inositol, NAM or PyrHCl failed to inhibit cell growth and viability, while marginal improvements in viability were noted by ThHCl deprivation and more so by FA exclusion. Over-expression of the anti-apoptotic gene bcl-2 suppressed cell death initiated by all or single vitamin (either DCaP, CC or Rb) deprivation. The involvement of bcl-2 activity, established a close association between small vitamin molecules particularly DCaP, CC or Rb and the biochemical activation of apoptosis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cell Survival
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media / chemistry
  • Hybridomas / metabolism*
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Vitamins / metabolism*


  • Culture Media
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Vitamins