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Tissue Cell. 2004 Oct;36(5):323-32.

Cytokeratin expression in primary epithelial cell culture from bovine conjunctiva.

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  • 1Research and Development Department, SIFI SpA, Via E. Patti 36, 95020 Lavinaio (Catania), Italy.


Aim of the present study is to extend our previous observations on a model of primary epithelial cell culture obtained from bovine conjunctiva, and analyse the maintenance of the conjunctival phenotype, relative to cytokeratin (CK) expression, through extended periods of cultivation under different conditions. Conjunctival epithelial cells were grown in transwell filters, and cultured either under liquid covered (LC), or air-interface (AI) conditions. The physiological state of the cells was monitored daily by measurement of the trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER). Analysis of cytokeratin expression was then carried out at different time points (up until 14 days), and compared to the original profile of the conjunctival tissue in order to assess deviations from the primitive phenotype. Immunodetection studies, carried out by both western immunoblot and immunofluorescence analyses, revealed constant expression of the pan-epithelial marker AE3 (recognizing basic type cytokeratins), confirming the epithelial nature of the culture. Other cytokeratins characteristic of non-keratinized stratified epithelia (CK4 and CK13) were absent in corneal tissue, while in conjunctival epithelial cells were more expressed under AI than under LC culture conditions. Expression of CK12, a specific marker of corneal tissue, revealed by the antibody AE5, was never observed in conjunctival epithelial cells. These results indicate that the conjunctival phenotype is conserved during extended periods of culturing, making this system a reliable substitute of conjunctival tissue for pharmaceutical analyses.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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