X-Message-Number: 15780
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 05:11:30 -0800 (PST)
From: Doug Skrecky <>
Subject: betaine is a possible additive to vitrification solutions

  Modulation by betaine of cellular responses
  to osmotic stress.
  Biochemical Journal.  282 ( Pt 1):69-73, 1992 Feb 15.
  Various solutes were tested to see if they could modify the responses of
  SV-3T3 cells to hyperosmotic (0.5 osM) conditions, which cause an inhibition
  of general cell protein synthesis and of the rate of cell proliferation,
  coupled with an induction of amino acid transport activity. The added solutes
  were glycerol, proline, taurine, betaine, dimethylglycine
  and sarcosine. Of these, betaine produced the most dramatic
  and consistent effects. Addition of 10-25 mM-betaine to the
  hyperosmotic medium largely prevented the 90% inhibition of cell
  proliferation that occurred in its absence. Whether it was added initially or
  after the cells were exposed to hyperosmotic medium, 25
  mM-betaine also converted a 50% recovery of the rate of
  protein synthesis into 100%. Similarly, the same concentrations of
  betaine prevented a 30% decrease in cell volume and
  decreased the induction of amino acid transport via system A by 73%. Lower
  concentrations of betaine produced smaller but still
  significant changes in these functional responses. With chick-embryo
  fibroblasts, under identical hyperosmotic conditions, 25
  mM-betaine completely counteracted a 75% inhibition of the
  rate of protein synthesis. At present it is not clear how
  betaine modulates these effects of hyperosmolarity on cell

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