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J Urol. 2000 Sep;164(3 Pt 2):928-34; discussion 934-5.

Coculture of bladder urothelial and smooth muscle cells on small intestinal submucosa: potential applications for tissue engineering technology.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Children's Hospital of Oklahoma and University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Small intestinal submucosa is a xenogenic, acellular, collagen rich membrane with inherent growth factors that has previously been shown to promote in vivo bladder regeneration. We evaluate in vitro use of small intestinal submucosa to support the individual and combined growth of bladder urothelial cells and smooth muscle cells for potential use in tissue engineering techniques, and in vitro study of the cellular mechanisms involved in bladder regeneration.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Primary cultures of human bladder urothelial cells and smooth muscle cells were established using standard enzymatic digestion or explant techniques. Cultured cells were then seeded on small intestinal submucosa at a density of 1 x 105 cells per cm.2, incubated and harvested at 3, 7, 14 and 28 days. The 5 separate culture methods evaluated were urothelial cells seeded alone on the mucosal surface of small intestinal submucosa, smooth muscle cells seeded alone on the mucosal surface, layered coculture of smooth muscle cells seeded on the mucosal surface followed by urothelial cells 1 hour later, sandwich coculture of smooth muscle cells seeded on the serosal surface followed by seeding of urothelial cells on the mucosal surface 24 hours later, and mixed coculture of urothelial cells and smooth muscle cells mixed and seeded together on the mucosal surface. Following harvesting at the designated time points small intestinal submucosa cell constructs were formalin fixed and processed for routine histology including Masson trichrome staining. Specific cell growth characteristics were studied with particular attention to cell morphology, cell proliferation and layering, cell sorting, presence of a pseudostratified urothelium and matrix penetrance. To aid in the identification of smooth muscle cells and urothelial cells in the coculture groups, immunohistochemical analysis was performed with antibodies to alpha-smooth muscle actin and cytokeratins AE1/AE3.

RESULTS:

Progressive 3-dimensional growth of urothelial cells and smooth muscle cells occurred in vitro on small intestinal submucosa. When seeded alone urothelial cells and smooth muscle cells grew in several layers with minimal to no matrix penetration. In contrast, layered, mixed and sandwich coculture methods demonstrated significant enhancement of smooth muscle cell penetration of the membrane. The layered and sandwich coculture techniques resulted in organized cell sorting, formation of a well-defined pseudostratified urothelium and multilayered smooth muscle cells with enhanced matrix penetration. With the mixed coculture technique there was no evidence of cell sorting although matrix penetrance by the smooth muscle cells was evident. Immunohistochemical studies demonstrated that urothelial cells and smooth muscle cells maintain the expression of the phenotypic markers of differentiation alpha-smooth muscle actin and cytokeratins AE1/AE3.

CONCLUSIONS:

Small intestinal submucosa supports the 3-dimensional growth of human bladder cells in vitro. Successful combined growth of bladder cells on small intestinal submucosa with different seeding techniques has important future clinical implications with respect to tissue engineering technology. The results of our study demonstrate that there are important smooth muscle cell-epithelial cell interactions involved in determining the type of in vitro cell growth that occurs on small intestinal submucosa. Small intestinal submucosa is a valuable tool for in vitro study of the cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions that are involved in regeneration and various disease processes of the bladder.

PMID:
10958711
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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