Effects of glucose, lactate and basic FGF as limiting factors on the expansion of human induced pluripotent stem cells

J Biosci Bioeng. 2018 Jan;125(1):111-115. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiosc.2017.08.004. Epub 2017 Aug 30.


Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) are one of the promising cell sources for tissue engineering and drug screening. However, mass production of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) is still developing. Especially, a huge amount of culture medium usage causes expensive cost in the mass production process. In this report, we reduced culture medium usage by extending interval of changing culture medium. In parallel, we also increased glucose concentration and supplied heparan sulfate to avoid depletion of glucose and bFGF, respectively. Reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) analyses showed that reducing medium change frequency increased differentiation marker expressions but high glucose concentration downregulated these expressions. In contrast, heparan sulfate did not prevent differentiation marker expressions. According to analyses of growth rate, cell growth with extended medium change interval was decreased in later stage of log growth phase despite the existence of high glucose concentration and heparan sulfate. This result and culturing iPSCs with lactate showed that the accumulation of excreted lactate decreased the growth rate regardless of pH control. Conclusively, these experiments show that adding glucose and removing lactate are important to expand iPSCs with reduced culture medium usage. This knowledge should be useful to design economical iPSC mass production and differentiation system.

Keywords: Basic fibroblast growth factor; Cell expansion; Glucose; Heparan sulfate; Induced pluripotent stem cells; Lactate; Mass production; Regenerative medicine.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Culture Media / economics
  • Culture Media / pharmacology
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / pharmacology*
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucose / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / drug effects*
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Lactic Acid / metabolism
  • Lactic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Time Factors


  • Culture Media
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Lactic Acid
  • Glucose