The aim of this study was to test the versatility of a new basal cell culture medium, GTSF-2. In addition to traditional growth-factors, GTSF-2 contains a blend of three sugars (glucose, galactose, and fructose) at their physiological levels. For these studies, we isolated normal endothelial cells from human, bovine, and rat large blood vessels and microvessels. In addition, GTSF-2 was also tested as a replacement for high-glucose-containing medium for PC12 pheochromocytoma cells and for other, transformed cell lines. The cell growth characteristics were assessed with a novel cell viability and proliferation assay, which is based on the bioreduction of the fluorescent dye, Alamar Blue. After appropriate calibration, the Alamar Blue assay was found to be equivalent to established cell proliferation assays. Alamar Blue offers the advantage that cell proliferation can be measured in the same wells over an extended period of time. For some of the cell types (e.g., endothelial cells isolated from the bovine aorta, the rat adrenal medulla, or the transformed cells), proliferation in unmodified GTSF-2 was equivalent to that in the original culture media. For others cell types (e.g., human umbilical vein endothelial cells and PC12 cells), GTSF-2 proved to be a superior growth medium, when supplemented with simple additives, such as endothelial cell growth supplement (bFGF) or horse serum. Our results suggest that GTSF-2 is a versatile basal medium that will be useful for studying organ-specific differentiation in heterotypic coculture studies.