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A key issue in human embryonic stem (ES) cell culture that has largely been ignored is the high degree of variability in the murine embryonic fibroblast (MEF) feeder cell density, which has been reported by different studies and protocols. Presumably, too low a feeder cell density would result in insufficient levels of secreted factors, extracellular matrix, and cellular contacts provided by the feeder cells for the maintenance of human ES cells in the undifferentiated state. Too high a feeder cell density, on the other hand, may result in a more rapid depletion of nutrients and oxygen within the in vitro culture milieu, as well as physically hinder the attachment and growth of ES colonies during serial passaging. Preliminary investigations by our group revealed that an elevated MEF cell density of 32,000 cells/cm2, above the recommended value of 20,000 cells/cm2, appeared to be highly detrimental to the attachment and growth of serially passaged ES colonies of the H9 line (WiCell Research Institute Inc., Wilmington, MA, USA). At the edge of ES colonies that have attached to the higher density feeder layer (32,000 cells/cm2), the ES cells appear to stack up to form a “bulge.” This was not observed under the recommended feeder cell density of 20,000 cells/cm2. By contrast, other established ES cell lines are routinely propagated at much higher feeder densities of 60,000 to 70,000 cells/cm2. This report briefly discusses the issue of MEF feeder cell density in relation to our preliminary observations, and the results of other studies.
In this report, we show how the in vitro model of mechanically injured confluent monolayers of cultured mammalian cells, consisting in denudation by gentle scraping of areas in the monolayer, can be extended to obtain patterned cell cultures without using preadded attaching matrices. This work was done with a sinusoidal endothelial liver cell line. Patterns for cell growth were drawn in confluent monolayers by cell detaching with the aid of pipette tips followed by reincubation of the culture. In one or some d, acellular patterns were closed by cell migration and proliferation. For unveiling the pattern formed by migration and cell duplication, an enzymatic digestion with trypsin–collagenase solution was applied; after some min, only the migrating and younger cells filling the previous acellular pattern remained attached to the dish, and the now cellular pattern was clearly depicted. After stopping and recovering from the enzymatic treatment, the culture was ready for starting studies such as those related to migration, proliferation, cell–cell interactions. This method allows us to create simple and complex patterns, does not require preparation of the dishes with attaching matrices, and extracellular matrices in acellular areas are absent because of the enzymatic treatment, thus, potentially having many applications in cell culture techniques.
Neoplastic cells acquire multidrug resistance as they assemble into multicellular spheroids. Image analysis and Monte Carlo simulation provided an insight into the adhesion and motility events during spheroid restructuring in liquid-overlay culture of DU 145 and LNCaP human prostate cancer cells. Irregularly shaped, two-dimensional aggregates restructured through incremental cell movements into three-dimensional spheroids. Of the two cultures examined, restructuring was more pronounced for DU 145 aggregates. Motile DU 145 cells formed spheroids with a minimum cell overlay of 30% for 25-mers as estimated by simulation versus 5% for adhesive LNCaP cells in aggregates of the same size. Over 72 h, the texture ratio increased from 0.55 ± 0.05 for DU 145 aggregates with projected areas exceeding 2000 μm2 to a value approaching 0.75 ± 0.02 (P < 0.05). For LNCaP aggregates of comparable size, the increase in texture ratio was more modest, less than 15% during the same time period (P < 0.05). Combined, these data suggest that motility events govern the overall rate of spheroid restructuring. This information has application to the chemosensitization of solid tumors and kinetic modeling of spheroid production.
The number of medical applications using autologous fibroblasts is increasing rapidly. We investigated thoroughly the procedure to isolate cells from skin using the enzymatic tissue dissociation procedure. Tissue digestion efficiency, cell viability, and yield were investigated in relation to size of tissue fragments, digestion volume to tissue ratio, digestion time, and importance of other protease activities present in Clostridium histolyticum collagenase (CHC) (neutral protease, clostripain, and trypsin). The results showed that digestion was optimal with small tissue fragments (2–3 mm3) and with volumes tissue ratios ≥2 ml/g tissue. For incubations ≤10 h, the digestion efficiency and cell isolation yields were significantly improved by increasing the collagenase, neutral protease, or clostripain activity, whereas trypsin activity had no effects. However, a too high proteolytic activity of one of the proteases present in CHC digestion solution or long exposure times interfered with cell viability and cell culture yields. The optimal range of CHC proteases activities per milliliter digestion solutions was determined for digestions ≤10 h (collagenase 2700–3900 Mandl U/ml, neutral protease 5100–10,000 caseinase U/ml, and clostripain 35–48 BAEE U/ml) and for longer digestions (>14 h) (collagenase 1350– 3000 U/ml, neutral protease 2550–7700 U/ml, and clostripain 18–36 U/ml). Using these conditions, a maximum fibroblast expansion was achieved when isolated cells were seeded at 1 × 104 cells/cm2. These results did not only allow selection of optimal CHC batches able to digest dermal tissue with an high cell viability but also significantly increased the fibroblast yields, enabling us to produce autologous dermal tissue in a clinically acceptable time frame of 3 wk.
The aim of this study was to establish a long-term culture system for rat colon epithelial cells. Colonic crypts were isolated by incubating a 4-cm-long rat colon segment cut longitudinally with an ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid [disodium salt]–containing buffer, taken up in conditioned medium from the normal rat kidney fibroblast cell line NRK (i.e., the supernatant of pure NRK cultures), directly plated on mitomycin C–treated NRK cells and subcultured with conditioned medium from NRK cells. Cells started to migrate out of the crypts shortly after plating them on NRK feeder layers. Some of the crypts fell apart during the isolation procedure, whereas the vast majority of them did it within 1 to 2 h after plating. The cells proliferated extremely slowly but continuously over a period of 4 mo and were epithelial because they expressed cytokeratin 19 and were stained by crystal violet at pH 2.8. In conclusion, the experimental system described in this study allows to maintain rat colon epithelial cells for up to 4 mo in culture and can be used to study the effects of a variety of tumor-modulating factors on growth and gene expression of normal colon epithelial cells in vitro.
We have examined the chicken TP53 tumor suppressor gene in v-src–transformed chicken tumor cells by reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequencing. Initially, we have detected frequent deletions of variable length in both DNA-binding and oligomerization domains of the TP53 in late as well as early in vitro passages of the chicken tumor cell line PR9692. This tumor cell line shows an immortal phenotype and acquires a metastatic potential that is unique in our experimental model of v-src–induced tumors in congenic chickens. Deletions in TP53 were also detected in an early passage of parallel in vivo subculture of the original v-src–induced tumor. In this case, tumor cells underwent replicative senescence later in tissue culture. Our results suggest that extensive deletions are efficient mechanisms of TP53 inactivation, occurring as early events during the immortalization of v-src–transformed chicken cells. Tumor cells with altered TP53 might, however, still be susceptible to growth control mechanisms, leading to withdrawal from the mitotic cycle in the early stage of the tumor lifeline.
An efficient Escherichia coli expression system for the production of mature-type alkaline serine protease II (mASP II) has been constructed. Complementary deoxyribonucleic acid-encoding mASP II was inserted into the inducible bacterial expression vector pGE-30. After introduction into E. coli, the plasmid was expressed by isopropyl-1-thio-β-d-galactopyranoside, and the recombinant product was purified using a Ni–nitrilotriacetic acid column. The purified product had the expected NH2-terminal sequence and showed a scrapie isoform of prion protein-degrading activity using hamster scrapie 263K prions as a substrate.