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Effects of Cold Stress on Cellular Structure and Function

Report Number: AMRL TR 66-30
Author: Buchsbaum, Ralph
Author: Buchsbaum, Monte
Author: Linsenmayer, Thomas
Corporate Author: University of Pittsburgh
Laboratory: Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories
Date of Publication: 1966-05
Pages: 15
Contract: AF 33(615)-1076
Project: 7164
Task: 716409
AD Number: AD0638327

The purpose of this investigation was to ascertain more precisely the limits of tolerance of cells in vitro to cold, as a basis for investigations on the cellular mechanisms affected. Mouse kidney cells were maintained in a perfusion chamber arranged for cooling and warming at various rates. Normal tissue culture media were used. Nearly all cells exposed to -0.3 C for 10 minutes, then warmed to 37 C, lived. Nearly all cells exposed to -1 C or lower for 10 minutes, and warmed to 37 C, died. The critical lethal cold shock seems to be between -0.3 and -0.7 C. Cold shock seems to produce little obvious change in cells, but mitochondrial breaks and swelling are obivous in electron micrographs. Also, nuclear ground substance appeared more granular than normal. One hypothesis was that microcrystallization probably occurs in certain organelles, particularly the mitochondria because these organelles are in constant motion. Similar results were obtained in experiments with human neutrophiles.

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