neutral red uptake assay

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Indirect Cytotoxicity of Dental Materials: A Study with Transwell Inserts and the Neutral Red Uptake Assay

Harvey Babich and Mayer C. Sinensky

A modification of the Transwell insert methodology was evaluated by using the neutral red uptake (NRU) assay in a cytotoxicity test. The Transwell insert methodology was developed to assess the biocompatibility of solid materials used in dentistry and, when initially designed, used the release of radiochromium (51Cr) in the cytotoxicity assay. Another aim of this study was to evaluate different exposure regimes with which to assess cytotoxicity. The exposure regimes included: a 1-hour exposure in buffer followed by a 24-hour incubation in growth medium; a 2-hour exposure in buffer followed by a 24-hour incubation in growth medium; a 24-hour exposure in serum-limited medium; and a 24-hour exposure in a serum-sufficient medium. The bioindicator target was the Smulow-Glickman (S-G) human gingival cell line and the biomaterials were dental restoratives. The Transwell insert methodology with the NRU cytotoxicity assay as the cytotoxicity endpoint was effective in differentiating the potencies of the dental restoratives; a 2-hour exposure in buffer and a 24-hour exposure in serum-limited medium were the exposure regimes that most clearly differentiated the test agents according to their potencies. The sequence of cytotoxicity of the dental restoratives to the S-G cells was Vitremer > Ketac-Molar Aplicap > Flow-It.
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The FRAME Alternatives Laboratory Database. 1. In Vitro Basal Cytotoxicity determined by the Kenacid Blue Total Protein Assay

Richard Clothier, Elke Gottschalg, Silvia Casati and Michael Balls

A database of over 280 chemicals has been compiled by using a mouse 3T3-L1 fibroblast-like cell line in exponential growth, exposed to chemicals for 72 hours in a 96-well tissue culture plate format, and determining cell number via the Kenacid blue (KB) assay for total protein. Ranking the chemicals according to their basal cytotoxicity, expressed as the concentration (mM) that inhibits increase in total cellular protein over 72 hours by 50% (the ID50 value) shows a wide range of ID50 values, from 0.00003mM to 10,096mM. This information includes the results for MEIC chemicals 1–50, and we have now added basal cytotoxicity data for 23 of the next 25 MEIC chemicals. When the neutral red uptake (NRU) assay was performed with the same cell cultures, before the KB assay, very similar indications of basal cytotoxicity were obtained. Comparisons between the results with 3T3-L1 cells and with a human fibroblast-like cell line, BCL-D1 showed a significant difference in order of magnitude of the ID50 value for only 5 of 52 chemicals. However, there was a difference in ID50 value of more than one order of magnitude for 8 of 24 chemicals tested with an undifferentiated teratocarcinoma cell line, F9.
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