This study describes a method for establishing primary cultures in 24‐well culture vessels and evaluating the effects of serum, hormones, and other factors on cell growth using densitometry. Primary cultures of rat ventral prostate epithelial cells were grown in 24‐well culture vessels containing F12K culture medium supplemented with various concentrations of the following substances: fetal bovine serum (FBS), horse serum (HS), testosterone (T), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), hydrocortisone (HC), zinc (Zn), transferrin (TR), cysteine (CYS), glutamine (GLT), selenium (SEL), and ascorbic acid (AC). The effect of each supplement on cell growth was evaluated on fixed and stained cultures using a photovoltaic cell densitometer designed to read the total culture surface of a 16‐mm well. Increasing concentrations of both HS and FBS resulted in an increase in cell growth. T, Zn, HC, TR, and AC each had a stimulatory effect on cell growth. CYS, GLT, and DHT had little effect on cell growth, while SEL was inhibitory to cell growth. This data compares favorably with that obtained by other methods, such as morphometric analysis and ornithine decarboxylase production. These results indicate that densitometry is a useful method for determining the effect of supplements on cell growth in primary culture.
- rat ventral prostate
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