Scanning Microscopy


While a cell-to-cell contact effect has been reported for a Chinese hamster subline V79-171B, this was not observed for another subline V79 171-S. Therefore, we tested whether the cell-to-cell contact effect on cell survival depended on the cell line or the experimental conditions used. We have cultured and compared both sublines under identical conditions. Both sublines, cultured in Eagle's minimal essential medium (MEM) with 15% serum, bad nearly identical cell doubling times and radiosensitivities. For both sublines, the survival of spheroid and monolayer cells subcultured immediately after irradiation were nearly the same, i.e., a radio-protective contact effect for spheroid cells was absent. Under conditions favorable for the repair of radiation induced damage, cell survival was higher for cells in monolayers than for cells in spheroids. Potentially lethal damage (PLD) repair and sublethal damage (SLD) repair were present in both sublines. However, the magnitude of expression of PLD by hypertonic saline was higher for monolayer than for spheroid cells. We conclude that: 1) the reported differences between V79 sublines (contact effect on survival) appear to be dependent on differences between experimental conditions rather than on cell type; 2) delayed plating technique does not detect PLD repair in round spheroid cells; and 3) detection of repair by split dose is independent of cell shape and/or two-or three-dimensional culture conditions.

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