Refrigeration provides a simple means to synchronize in vitro cultures of Plasmodium falciparum

Lili Yuan, Mingming Hao, Lanou Wu, Zhen Zhao, Benjamin M. Rosenthal, Xiaomei Li, Yongshu He, Ling Sun, Guohua Feng, Zheng Xiang, Liwang Cui, Zhaoqing Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Plasmodium falciparum is usually asynchronous during in vitro culture. Highly synchronized cultures of P. falciparum are routinely used in malaria research. Here, we describe a simple synchronization procedure for P. falciparum asexual erythrocytic culture, which involves storage at 4°C for 8-24h followed by routine culture. When cultures with 27-60% of ring stage were synchronized using this procedure, 70-93% ring stages were obtained after 48h of culture and relative growth synchrony remained for at least two erythrocytic cycles. To test the suitability of this procedure for subsequent work, drug sensitivity assays were performed using four laboratory strains and four freshly adapted clinical P. falciparum isolates. Parasites synchronized by sorbitol treatment or refrigeration showed similar dose-response curves and comparable IC50 values to four antimalarial drugs. The refrigeration synchronization method is simple, inexpensive, time-saving, and should be especially useful when large numbers of P. falciparum culture are handled.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Parasitology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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