Nelson SW, et al. Madin-Darby canine kidney cell sialic acid receptor modulation induced by culture medium conditions: Implications for the isolation of influenza A virus. Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2019 Aug 7
The influenza A virus (IAV) binds to α-2,3- and α-2,6-linked sialic acid (SA) receptors expressed by Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. The receptor distribution may therefore be important in regulating IAV propagation. Serum-free medium (SFM) avoids variability in conventional culture medium containing fetal bovine serum (FBS), which can have variable composition and may contain endotoxins. However, little is known about the distribution of SA receptors on cells maintained in SFM.
We assessed the influence of culture media on MDCK cell SA receptor distribution along with the effect of SA receptor distribution on IAV recovery. We hypothesized that SFM would increase the proportion of α-2,6-linked SA receptors present and alter isolate recovery.
Madin-Darby canine kidney cells were cultured in medium containing FBS and two SFMs. Cell surface distribution of α-2,6- and α-2,3-linked receptors was determined using flow cytometry. Recovery of swine- and avian-lineage IAVs from MDCK cells maintained in each medium was quantified as TCID50 .
Madin-Darby canine kidney cells cultured in UltraMDCK SFM expressed both SA receptors and supported the growth of both swine- and avian-lineage IAVs. Cells maintained in other medium inconsistently expressed each receptor and the avian IAV grew to lower titers in cells cultured with FBS.
Medium conditions altered the distribution of SA receptors present on MDCK cells and affected IAV recovery. Culture in UltraMDCK SFM resulted in cells expressing both receptors and IAVs grew to higher titers than in the other culture condition, indicating that this medium may be useful for culturing IAV from multiple species.
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