What if cell culture media do not mimic in vivo redox settings?


Journal Article

Here, I address the topic of suitability for redox research of common settings in cell cultures. This is done through the prism of in vitro anticancer effects of vitamin C. Cell culture media show lower concentrations of iron and a higher level of oxygen compared to interstitial fluid. Such a setup promotes ascorbate-mediated production and accumulation of hydrogen peroxide, which efficiently kills a variety of cancer cell lines. However, the anticancer effects are annihilated if the iron level is corrected to mimic in vivo concentrations. It appears that the potential benefits of application of vitamin C in cancer treatment have been significantly overestimated. This might be true for other pro-oxidative agents as well, such as some (poly)phenols. We urgently need to establish medium formula and culture maintenance settings that are optimal for redox research.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Spasojević, I

Published Date

  • May 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 21 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 127 - 129

PubMed ID

  • 26221760

Pubmed Central ID

  • 26221760

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1743-2928

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1179/1351000215Y.0000000036


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England