density dependent inhibition of growth

The phenomenon exhibited by most normal (anchorage dependent) animal cells in culture that stop dividing once a critical cell density is reached. The critical density is considerably higher for most cells than the density at which a monolayer is formed; for this reason, most cell behaviourists prefer the term density dependent inhibition of growth as this avoids any confusion with contact inhibition of locomotion, a totally different phenomenon that is contact dependent.

Dictionary of molecular biology. 2004.

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