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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 597282, 22 pages
Review Article

The Influence of Micronutrients in Cell Culture: A Reflection on Viability and Genomic Stability

1Laboratório de Reparação de DNA em Eucariotos, Departamento de Biofísica/Centro de Biotecnologia, UFRGS, Avenida Bento Gonçalves 9500, Prédio 43422, Setor IV, Campus do Vale, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
2Instituto de Educação para Pesquisa, Desenvolvimento e Inovação Tecnológica—ROYAL, Unidade GENOTOX—ROYAL, Centro de Biotecnologia, UFRGS, Avenida Bento Gonçalves 9500, Prédio 43421, Setor IV, Campus do Vale, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
3PPG em Promoção da Saúde, Universidade de Santa Cruz do Sul (UNISC), Avenida Independência 2293, 96815-900 Santa Cruz do Sul, RS, Brazil
4Instituto de Biotecnologia, Departamento de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade de Caxias do Sul (UCS), Rua Francisco Getúlio Vargas 1130, 95070-560 Caxias do Sul, RS, Brazil

Received 7 January 2013; Revised 23 April 2013; Accepted 3 May 2013

Academic Editor: Vanina Heuser

Copyright © 2013 Ana Lúcia Vargas Arigony et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Micronutrients, including minerals and vitamins, are indispensable to DNA metabolic pathways and thus are as important for life as macronutrients. Without the proper nutrients, genomic instability compromises homeostasis, leading to chronic diseases and certain types of cancer. Cell-culture media try to mimic the in vivo environment, providing in vitro models used to infer cells' responses to different stimuli. This review summarizes and discusses studies of cell-culture supplementation with micronutrients that can increase cell viability and genomic stability, with a particular focus on previous in vitro experiments. In these studies, the cell-culture media include certain vitamins and minerals at concentrations not equal to the physiological levels. In many common culture media, the sole source of micronutrients is fetal bovine serum (FBS), which contributes to only 5–10% of the media composition. Minimal attention has been dedicated to FBS composition, micronutrients in cell cultures as a whole, or the influence of micronutrients on the viability and genetics of cultured cells. Further studies better evaluating micronutrients' roles at a molecular level and influence on the genomic stability of cells are still needed.