This study was undertaken in order to identify the best culture strategy to expand and osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow stem cells (hBMSCs) for subsequent bone tissue engineering. In this regard, the experiment was designed to evaluate whether it is feasible to bypass the expansion phase during hBMSCs differentiation towards osteogenic lineages by early induction, if not identification of suitable culture media for enhancement of hBMSCs expansion and osteogenic differentiation. It was found that introduction of osteogenic factors in alpha-minimum essential medium (αMEM) during expansion phase resulted in significant reduction of hBMSCs growth rate and osteogenic gene expressions. In an approach to identify suitable culture media, the growth and differentiation potential of hBMSCs were evaluated in αMEM, F12:DMEM (1:1; FD), and FD with growth factors. It was found that αMEM favors the expansion and osteogenic differentiation of hBMSCs compared to that in FD. However, supplementation of growth factors in FD, only during expansion phase, enhances the hBMSCs growth rate and significantly up-regulates the expression of CBFA-1 (the early markers of osteogenic differentiation) during expansion, and, other osteogenic genes at the end of induction compared to the cells in αMEM and FD. These results suggested that the expansion and differentiation phase of the hBMSCs should be separately and carefully timed. For bone tissue engineering, supplementation of growth factors in FD only during the expansion phase was sufficient to promote hBMSCs expansion and differentiation, and preferably the most efficient culture condition.
The anterior surface of the eye is covered by several physically contiguous but histologically distinguishable epithelia overlying the cornea, limbus, bulbar conjunctiva, fornix conjunctiva, and palpebral conjunctiva. The self-renewing nature of the conjunctival epithelia makes their long-term survival ultimately dependent on small populations of stem cells. Hence, the objective of this study was to investigate the expression of the stem cell genes Sox2, OCT4, NANOG, Rex1, NES, and ABCG2 in cultured human conjunctival epithelium from different conjunctival zones, namely, the bulbar, palpebral and fornix zones. Three samples were taken from patients with primary pterygium and cataract (age range 56-66 years) who presented to our eye clinic at the UKM Medical Centre. The eye was examined with slit lamp to ensure there was no underlying ocular surface diseases and glaucoma. Conjunctival tissue was taken from patients who underwent a standard cataract or pterygium operation as a primary procedure. Tissues were digested, cultured, and propagated until an adequate number of cells was obtained. Total RNA was extracted and subjected to expression analysis of conjunctival epithelium genes (KRT4, KRT13, KRT19) and stem cell genes (Sox2, OCT4, NANOG, Rex1, NES, ABCG2) by reverse transcriptase-PCR and 2% agarose gel electrophoresis. The expression of Sox2, OCT4, and NANOG genes were detected in the fornical cells, while bulbar cells only expressed Sox2 and palpebral cells only expressed OCT4. Based on these results, the human forniceal region expresses a higher number of stem cell genes than the palpebral and bulbar conjunctiva.
Study site: Eye clinic, Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (PPUKM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Human amniotic epithelial cells (hAECs) are potentially one of the key players in tissue engineering due to their easy availability. The aim of the present study was to develop an optimal isolation and transportation technique, as well as to determine the immunophenotype and epithelial gene expression of hAECs. Amnion was mechanically peeled off from the chorion and digested with trypsin-ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. The isolated hAECs were cultured in medium containing 10 ng/mL epidermal growth factor until P4. The epithelial gene expression, cell surface antigen and protein expression of hAECs were analyzed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction, flow cytometry and immunocytochemistry. hAECs were also cultured in adipogenic, osteogenic and neurogenic induction media. The best cell yield of hAECs was seen in the digestion of 15 pieces of amnion (2 × 2 cm) and isolated 30 min after digestion with trypsin. F12:Dulbecco's modified eagle medium was the best medium for short term storage at 4 °C. hAECs expressed CD9, CD44, CD73 and CD90, and negligibly expressed CD31, CD34, CD45 and CD117. After serial passage, CK3, CK19 and involucrin gene expressions were upregulated, while p63, CK1 and CK14 gene expressions were downregulated. Sustained gene expressions of integrin β1 and CK18 were observed. At initial culture, these cells might have stem-like properties. However, they differentiated after serial passage. Nonetheless, hAECs have epithelial stem cell characteristics and have the potential to differentiate into corneal epithelial cells. Further investigations are still needed to elucidate the mechanism of differentiation involved and to optimize the culture condition for long term in vitro culture.
Antibacterial photodynamic therapy (PDT) has come to attract attention as an alternative therapy for drug-resistant bacteria. Recent reports revealed that antibacterial PDT induces innate immune response and stimulates abundant cytokine secretion as a part of inflammatory responses. However, the underlying mechanism how antibacterial PDT interacts with immune cells responsible for cytokine secretion has not been well outlined. In this study, we aimed to clarify the difference in gene expression and cytokine secretion between combined culture of fibroblasts and macrophages and their independent cultures. SCRC-1008, mouse fibroblast cell line and J774, mouse macrophage-like cell line were co-cultured and PDT treatments with different parameters were carried out. After various incubation periods (1-24 h), cells and culture medium were collected, and mRNA and protein levels for cytokines were measured using real-time PCR and ELISA, respectively. Our results showed that fibroblasts and macrophages interact with each other to mediate the immune response. We propose that fibroblasts initially respond to PDT by expressing Hspa1b, which regulates the NF-κB pathway via Tlr2 and Tlr4. Activation of the NF-κB pathway then results in an enhanced secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β) and neutrophil chemoattractant MIP-2 and KC from macrophages.