Decellularized feeders: an optimized method for culturing pluripotent cells


Pluripotent cells such as human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells are useful in the field of regenerative medicine because they can proliferate indefinitely and differentiate into all cell types. However, a limiting factor for maintaining and propagating stem cells is the need for inactivated fibroblasts as a growth matrix, since these may potentially cause cross-contamination. In this study, we aimed to maintain stem cells on the extracellular matrix (ECM) of either nonirradiated or γ-irradiated fibroblasts. It has been demonstrated that the ECM contains factors and proteins vital for the adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation of pluripotent cells. In order to preserve the ECM, the cell layers of the fibroblasts were decellularized by treatment with 0.05% sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), which resulted in an absence of DNA as compared with conventional feeder culture. However, SDS treatment did not cause a detectable change in the ECM architecture and integrity. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry demonstrated that expressions of major ECM proteins, such as fibronectin, collagen, and laminin, remained unaltered. The human pluripotent cells cultured on this decellularized matrix maintained gene expression of the pluripotency markers NANOG and OCT4 and had the potency to differentiate to three germ layers. The in vitro culture system shown here has an excellent potential since the main allogeneic components (i.e., DNA of the feeder cells) are removed. It is also a technically easy, fast, safe, and cheap method for maintaining a refined feeder-free stem cell culture for further cell differentiation studies.

Authors Lim ML, Jungebluth P, Sjöqvist S, Nikdin H, Kjartansdóttir KR, Unger C, Vassliev I, Macchiarini P
Journal Stem cells translational medicine
Publication Date 2013 Dec;2(12):975-82
PubMed 24167316
PubMed Central PMC3841092
DOI 10.5966/sctm.2013-0077

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