Rapid, Simple, and Low Cost Cell Counting with the TetraZ™ Cell Counting Kit

There are several products that will help you study cell proliferation and viability. Some of them are fluorescent, some are based on colorimetric assays, and other properties vary depending on the product. For example, for flow cytometry, you can use CFSE, which is a well-established reagent used to study cell proliferation.

No, we don't sell fish antibodies yet. The name is derived from the chemical tetrazolium. By the way, did you know that cute schooling Tetra fishes belong to the same family as piranhas?!
However, for customers interested in methods not involving laser excitation, colorimetric assays are a good option. We recently introduced the TetraZ™ Cell Counting Kit, which is useful for quantifying cell proliferation and viability without the need of a flow cytometer. It is based on a water soluble tetrazolium salt that produces a water soluble dye upon reduction in the presence of an electron mediator. Electrons are provided by the action of cellular dehydrogenases which transform the tetrazolium salt into a colored product, formazan. The amount of formazan produced is directly proportional to the number of live cells. The optimal OD is read at 450 nm in a regular ELISA plate reader.
The metabolism of the cell you are studying will dictate the adjustments you need to make to use this product. Cells with slower metabolism will require a longer incubation time, whereas cells with faster metabolism, such as cancer cell lines, will require a shorter incubation time.

TetraZ™ is reduced to orange-colored formazan through an electron mediator, 1-Methoxy PMS, by NADH and NADPH activity which are generated by cellular activity of live cells.
What are the advantages that TetraZ™ offer over other tetrazolium-based products?

24 hours after incubation with the diluted, working solution of TetraZ™, HeLa cells continue to proliferate. Other cell viability assay kits are toxic to cells, and most of the cells are killed during the first 3 hours of incubation. With TetraZ™ the same cells can be used in further downstream applications.

Max OD/BG ratio: TetraZ:3.7 MTS:1.6
Recombinant mouse thrombopoietin (mTPO) induces proliferation of M0-7e cells in a dose-dependent manner. 20,000 cells/well were cultured in 1% FBS RPMI1640 for 3 days in the presence of mTPO at the concentrations indicated. TetraZ™ Cell Counting Kit or MTS was added for the last 16 hours of incubation. The plate was read at 450 nm.

High Throughput Screening (HTS) friendly. You can add it to your 96-, or 384-well plate and directly read the effect of a drug or any given molecule on your cells in a plate reader.

It doesn’t require special handling, unlike 3H (tritium, radioactive) labeled samples.

It is very stable at 4°C (1 year) and -20°C (over 2 years).

Use TetraZ™! It is good for your cells. The Mask of Zorro, TriStar Pictures
Contributed by Miguel Tam, PhD
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