Author(s): Fllmann W, Weber S, Birkner S
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Abstract Epithelial cells from bovine colon were isolated by mechanical preparation combined with an enzymatic digestion from colon specimens derived from freshly slaughtered animals. After digestion with collagenase I, the isolated tissue was centrifuged on a 2\% D-sorbitol gradient to separate epithelial crypts which were seeded in collagen I-coated culture flasks. By using colon crypts and omitting the seeding of single cells a contamination by fibroblasts was prevented. The cells proliferated under the chosen culture conditions and formed monolayer cultures which were maintained for several weeks, including subcultivation steps. A population doubling time of about 21 hr was estimated in the log phase of the corresponding growth curve. During the culture period the cells were characterized morphologically and enzymatically. By using antibodies against cytokeratine 7 and 13 the isolated cells were identified as cells of epithelial origin. Antibodies against vimentin served as negative control. Morphological features such as microvilli, desmosomes and tight junctions, which demonstrated the ability of the cultured cells to restore an epithelial like monolayer, were shown by ultrastructural investigations. The preservation of the secretory function of the cultured cells was demonstrated by mucine cytochemistry with alcian blue staining. A stable expression of enzyme activities over a period of 6 days in culture occurred for gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase, acid phosphatase and NADH-dehydrogenase activity under the chosen culture conditions. Activity of alkaline phosphatase decreased to about 50\% of basal value after 6 days in culture. Preliminary estimations of the metabolic competence of these cells revealed cytochrome P450 1A1-associated EROD activity in freshly isolated cells which was stable over 5 days in cultured cells. Then activity decreased completely. This culture system with primary epithelial cells from the colon will be used further as a model for the colon epithelium in toxicological studies in vitro.
This article was published in Toxicol In Vitro
and referenced in Biochemistry & Analytical Biochemistry