Mind your media

Cell culture media are typically selected on the basis of common laboratory practices but have major effects on the validity, reproducibility and physiological relevance of the scientific findings. We provide arguments and quantitative examples of why choosing an appropriate cell culture medium matters, particularly in metabolic studies.

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Fig. 1: Differences in the concentrations of key metabolic nutrients between human plasma and commonly used culture media modulate intracellular metabolism in vitro.
Fig. 2: Cell culture media significantly affect intracellular metabolite levels in metabolic profiling of the CCLE.


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T.S. has received funding from European Research Council, ERC grant agreement no. 714738.

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S.L. performed the metabolomics data analysis. S.L., E.G. and T.S. wrote the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Eyal Gottlieb or Tomer Shlomi.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Lagziel, S., Gottlieb, E. & Shlomi, T. Mind your media. Nat Metab (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s42255-020-00299-y

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