Παρασκευή, 26 Μαΐου 2017

Towards xeno-free cultures of human limbal stem cells for ocular surface reconstruction

Abstract

Isolated limbal epithelial stem cells (LESCs) were cultured with or without a 3T3 murine fibroblast feeder-layer (FL) in 4 different culture media on culture plates or on denuded human amniotic membrane (AM) support and fibrin gel support: (1) control medium supplemented with fetal bovine serum; (2) control medium supplemented with the synthetic serum "XerumFree™ XF205" (XF); (3) CnT-20 medium supplemented with "XerumFree™ XF205" (CnT-XF) and (4) CnT-20 medium supplemented with human AB serum (CnT-AB). The three xenogeneic media were compared to standard condition (control + FL) and parameters assessed included cell morphology, proliferative potential, number of passages, assessment of clonogenic and abortive colonies, life span, ∆Np63α expression and epithelial morphology on AM. During serial cultivation of LESCs, most of the tested xeno-free media supported similar numbers of cell passages, total colony number, cumulative cell doublings (CCD) rates and expression of ∆Np63α compared to control. The conditions cultivated with a FL showed a non-statistically significant higher number of cell passages and CCD rates before senescence when compared to the same conditions cultured without FL. Except for the control medium, only XF medium enabled the growth of cells on AM. The expression of ∆Np63α was comparable in all the cultures grown onto AM, when compared to the controls on fibrin gel. In conclusion, the xeno-free media enabled LESC culture both on plastic and on denuded human AM. Despite the analyses were carried out in a statistically low number of samples and need re-assessment in a larger cohort, our results suggest that the production of a completely xeno-free LESC graft could be beneficial for future clinical applications.



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