The xCELLigence system is a new technological approach that allows the real-time cell analysis of adherent tumor cells. To date, xCELLigence has not been able to monitor the growth or cytotoxicity of nonadherent cells derived from hematological malignancies. The basis of its technology relies on the use of culture plates with gold microelectrodes located in their base. We have adapted the methodology described by others to xCELLigence, based on the pre-coating of the cell culture surface with specific substrates, some of which are known to facilitate cell adhesion in the extracellular matrix. Pre-coating of the culture plates with fibronectin, compared to laminin, collagen, or gelatin, significantly induced the adhesion of most of the leukemia/lymphoma cells assayed (Jurkat, L1236, KMH2, and K562). With a fibronectin substrate, nonadherent cells deposited in a monolayer configuration, and consequently, the cell growth and viability were robustly monitored. We further demonstrate the feasibility of xCELLigence for the real-time monitoring of the cytotoxic properties of several antineoplastic agents. In order to validate this technology, the data obtained through real-time cell analysis was compared with that obtained from using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide method. This provides an excellent label-free tool for the screening of drug efficacy in nonadherent cells and discriminates optimal time points for further molecular analysis of cellular events associated with treatments, reducing both time and costs.
Keywords: drug discovery; leukemia; lymphoma; real-time cell analysis.