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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Protection against heat-induced cell killing by polyols in vitro.

The polyols erythritol and adonitol reduced 45 degrees heat killing in asynchronous Chinese hamster ovary cells. Heat protection by glycerol and erythritol increased with the apparent intracellular concentration, as inferred from cell volume measurements, and the number of hydroxyl groups per alcohol molecule. The nonlinear tetrahydroxy alcohol pentaerythritol did not protect but sensitized to heat killing. On cell survival curves, the reduced cell killing of protected cells was expressed by an increased Do for the pentahydroxy alcohol adonitol (0.3 M), whereas equimolar concentrations of glycerol increased primarily the Dq (quasithreshold dose) with little increase in Do. The distribution of Chinese hamster ovary cells within the cell cycle was unaffected by the presence of 0.3 M glycerol in the culture medium. However, the polyols erythritol and sorbitol caused a small but significant loss of cells from the heat-resistant G1 compartment. The cell cycle redistribution with prolonged incubation (6 hr) in polyol-supplemented medium is expected to increase the heat sensitivity of the perturbed cell population; the observed heat protection by polyols suggests that heat resistance in the presence of polyols is not an artifact of an asynchronous cell system. Instead, the data identify a family of heat-protective compounds that may occur naturally in mammalian cells.[1]


  1. Protection against heat-induced cell killing by polyols in vitro. Henle, K.J., Peck, J.W., Higashikubo, R. Cancer Res. (1983) [Pubmed]
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