Plasmax medium for virus research

Investigation of metabolism of cultured cells is hampered by severe imprint of classical media such as DMEM and RPMI on various processes. It is due to narrow spectrum of metabolites in media and their non-physiological levels. After many attempts to optimize media composition, groups of Sabatini (Cantor et al, Cell 2017) and Tardito (Vander Voorde et al, Sci.Adv. 2020) introduced two very similar types of medium, referred to as HPLM (human plasma-like medium) and Plasmax, respectively.

We have assessed changes in cell metabolism in cells cultivated in classical vs Plasmax medium (Golikov et al, Antioxidants 2022). Cells in Plasmax exhibited markedly higher levels of mitochondrial respiration,which was associated with formation of vast mitochondrial networks.

Another differemce in cells maintained in Plasmax medium is the dramatic decrease in lysosomal mass. Currently we are exploring effect of Plasmax on lysosome biogenesis and functioning.

We also demonstrated that cells in Plasmax support replication of RNA viruses, albeit slower and at somewhat lower levels (Golikov et al, Antioxidants 2022). At the same time, the ability of viruses to induce oxidative stress is more pronounced in Plasmax that is classical media. So, we argue that plasma-resembling media should be used while studying impact of viruses on cell metabolic and redox pathways ((Golikov et al, mBio 2023).