Rat urothelium: Improved techniques for serial cultivation, expansion, freezing and reconstitution onto acellular matrix

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26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: The rat has been a cost-effective model for the evaluation of bladder development, cancer and stromal-epithelial interactions. Serial cultivation of rat urothelium has been difficult. We developed a reliable protocol for the harvest, serial cultivation and cryopreservation of rat urothelium. We investigated the differentiation markers of in vivo bladder urothelium compared with cells reconstituted onto an acellular bladder matrix. Materials and Methods: Epithelial harvest techniques using trypsin and collagenase were compared. Medium and conditions were optimized for serial culture and growth characteristics were calculated. Cultured cells were cryopreserved, and then recovered and grown on acellular bladder matrices. Morphology and markers of differentiation were compared between normal bladder and engineered grafts using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and immunohistochemistry. Results: Atraumatic enzymatic removal of urothelium with trypsin yielded more cells with greater viability than collagenase. Cells could be reliably grown beyond 10 passages using fibroblast conditioned medium and a 3T3 feeder layer during initial passages. Cryopreserved cells were successfully recovered and incorporated onto acellular matrices. Immunostaining and SEM of engineered grafts demonstrated early markers of differentiation, such as surface microvilli and cytokeratin 17, on polygonal cells with typical tight junctions. Conclusions: Rat urothelium can be reliably grown using fibroblast conditioned medium and a 3T3 feeder layer during primary culture. Serially passaged cells can survive cryopreservation and they are able to reconstitute epithelium on an acellular bladder matrix. Cells that are incorporated into the matrix express markers of early differentiation and demonstrate typical morphological characteristics by SEM. These culture techniques and this in vitro organoid model should facilitate the use of rat urothelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-285
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Volume173
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2005

Keywords

  • Bladder
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tissue engineering
  • Urothelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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