The Aedes albopictus Aa23 cell line, which is persistently infected with Wolbachia pipientis strain wAlbB, tends to grow as aggregated clusters of cells that are difficult to disperse for conventional quantification based on cell number. We used A. albopictus C7-10 cells to validate conversion of methylthiazole tetrazolium (MTT) to a colored formazan product with respect to incubation time, cell number over a 40-fold range, and metabolic activity as cells enter stationary phase. Using this assay, we showed that the doubling time of Aa23 cells increases from about 45 h early after plating to more than 70 h as the cells reach stationary levels. Growth of Aa23 cells proceeds at similar rates in the presence or absence of tetracycline concentrations that decrease the abundance of Wolbachia. Insofar as the MTT assay reflects mitochondrial function, our results indicate that, in Aa23 cells, abundance of intracellular Wolbachia has no measurable effect on mitochondrial activity in the presence of tetracycline.
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