Multiple steady states with distinct cellular metabolism in continuous culture of mammalian cells

Anna F. Europa, Anshu Gambhir, Peng Cheng Fu, Wei Shou Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mammalian cells have the ability to proliferate under different nutrient environments by utilizing different combinations of the nutrients, especially glucose and the amino acids. Under the conditions often used in in vitro cultivation, the cells consume glucose and amino acids in great excess of what is needed for making up biomass and products. They also produce large amounts of metabolites with lactate, ammonia, and some nonessential amino acids such as alanine as the most dominant ones. By controling glucose and glutamine at low levels, cellular metabolism can be altered and can result in reduced glucose and glutamine consumption as well as in reduced metabolite formation. Using a fed-batch reactor to manipulate glucose at a low level (as compared to a typical batch culture), cell metabolism was altered to a state with substantially reduced lactate production. The culture was then switched to a continuous mode and allowed to reach a steady-state. At this steady- state, the concentrations of cells and antibody were substantially higher than a control culture that was initiated from a batch culture without first altering cellular metabolism. The lactate and other metabolite concentrations were also substantially reduced as compared to the control culture. This newly observed steady-state was achieved at the same dilution rate and feed medium as the control culture. The paths leading to the two steady-states, however, were different. These results demonstrate steady-state multiplicity. At this new steady-state, not only was glucose metabolism altered, but the metabolism of amino acids was altered as well. The amino acid metabolism in the new steady-state was more balanced, and the excretion of non-essential amino acids and ammonia was substantially lower. This approach of reaching a more desirable steady-state with higher concentrations of cells and product opens a new avenue for high-density- and high-productivity-cell culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-34
Number of pages10
JournalBiotechnology and bioengineering
Volume67
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 5 2000

Keywords

  • Cell culture
  • Energy metabolism
  • Steady-state

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