Biology of the Porifera: cell culture

Pomponi, S. A.
February 2006
Canadian Journal of Zoology;Feb2006, Vol. 84 Issue 2, p167
Academic Journal
The discovery that dissociated sponge cells will reaggregate to form a functional organism was the basis for the establishment of sponge cell cultures that have been used as a model for the study of fundamental processes in developmental biology and immunology. More recent is the discovery of unique bioactive compounds in marine sponges, and the feasibility of in vitro production of these chemicals is being evaluated. Techniques are well established for cell dissociation; development of several nutrient media formulations has resulted in improvements in viability and cell division; and molecular approaches to identification of genes responsible for regulation of cell cycling may provide unique perspectives in culture optimization. The use of novel substrates for immobilization of cells offers alternatives for proliferation and scale-up. All of these results support the potential for development of a model system for the study of basic metabolic processes involved in cell differentiation, as well as an in vitro production system for sponge-derived bioactive compounds. Perhaps more important, however, is the development of cell lines of these "simple" metazoans to facilitate basic cell physiology and molecular biology research that may be applied to understanding more complex metazoan systems, including humans.


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