Kinetic effect of silkworm hemolymph on the delayed host cell death in an insect cell-baculovirus system

Won Jong Rhee, Eun Jeong Kim, Tai Hyun Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The kinetic effect of silkworm hemolymph on host cell viability during a baculovirus-induced insect celt death process was investigated. Host cell viability after viral infection is important for replication of the baculovirus DNA containing a recombinant gene and expression of the cloned gene. The baculovirus-induced insect cell death process can be divided into a delay phase and a first-order death phase, which are characterized by a delay time (t(d)) and a specific death rate (k(d)), respectively. For 0-10% silkworm hemolymph in the media, higher concentrations resulted in longer delay times and lower specific death rates. By adding 10% silkworm hemolymph, the delay time increased from 72 to 164 h, and the specific death rate was reduced from 13.8 x 10-3 to 6.0 x 10-3 h-1. In addition, host cell viability correlated with DNA fragmentation, which is the biochemical hallmark of apoptosis. This indicates that the silkworm hemolymph inhibits the baculovirus-induced insect cell apoptosis. However, the silkworm hemolymph did not affect the number of hypothetical targets, which represents host cell susceptibility to the baculovirus. The concentration of fetal bovine serum (FBS) in the medium did not affect the delay time, while lower concentrations of silkworm hemolymph resulted in shorter delay times. This means that the substance which increases the longevity of the host cell is not in the FBS but in the silkworm hemolymph.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1028-1032
Number of pages5
JournalBiotechnology Progress
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1999


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