The majority of cells are cultured with Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium (DMEM) or RPMI supplemented with fetal bovine serum (FBS), which contains numerous factors, including cytokines, nutrients and unknown growth factors. These factors may affect cell growth, apoptosis and differentiation. The serum-free medium, STK2, has been previously reported as suitable for the cell culture of human mesenchymal stem cells. However, how STK1 or STK2 affect the cell proliferation of normal and cancer cells remains unknown. The present study examined the growth of the human gingival fibroblast (HGF-1) cell-line and the HSC-3, CA9-22 and MSTO cancer cell-lines, cultured with STK1 and STK2. STK1 increased the cell proliferation of HGF-1 compared to DMEM by assessment with the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)- 2H-tetrazolium (MTS) assay, whereas STK1 and STK2 markedly inhibited the cell proliferation of HSC-3 and MSTO. The cell proliferation rate of CA9-22 cultured with STK1 or STK2 for 96 h was ~2-fold higher than the rate for 24 h culture. The shape of the HSC-3 cells was also found to have changed to round when cultured with STK2. These results indicate that STK1 increased the cell proliferation of HGF-1 compared to DMEM, whereas the proliferation of HSC-3 and MSTO was inhibited by STK1 and STK2. Thus, STK1 and STK2 had different affects on the cell growth of HGF-1, CA9-22, HSC-3 and MSTO.
Keywords: MTS assay; STK1; STK2; fetal bovine serum; fetal calf serum.