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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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Preselection of Potential Cancerostatics by Automatic Analysis of Suspended and Adherent Cells Incubated in Microplates


Walter Gutsche and Axel Stelzner

Alternative toxicological screening programmes, without the use of animal experiments, are intended to eliminate dangerous substances and to find new pharmacologically active agents in cell cultures. They can also provide information on the cytostatic activities of  the agents. Intercalating cytostatics which bind DNA were selected by measuring the statistical distributions of the cell diameters of K-562 and L-929 cells by using an electronic cell analyser (CASY1). These compounds were identified by cell enlargement or from flat concentration–activity curves created with the cell analyser system. Incubation for 72 hours with DNA-binding agents, such as doxorubicin, daunorubicin and Mitoxantron®, resulted in enlargement of cell diameter and cell volume. The antineoplastic agents actinomycin D and ambazone had no comparable effect. Comparisons of the different parameters obtained with CASY1 measurement were performed with Microsoft EXCEL.