Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Histochem Cell Biol. 2011 Jul;136(1):103-15. doi: 10.1007/s00418-011-0826-y. Epub 2011 Jun 17.

Air-liquid interface cultures enhance the oxygen supply and trigger the structural and functional differentiation of intestinal porcine epithelial cells (IPEC).

Author information

Institute of Anatomy, Medical Faculty, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Leipziger Strasse 44, Magdeburg, Germany.


The specific function of the epithelium as critical barrier between the intestinal lumen and the organism's internal microenvironment is reflected by permanent maintenance of intercellular junctions and cellular polarity. The intestinal epithelial cells are responsible for absorption of nutritional components, facing mechanical stress and a changing oxygen supplementation via blood stream. Oxygen itself can regulate the barrier and the absorptive function of the epithelium. Therefore, we compared the dish cell culture, the transwell-like membrane culture and the oxygen enriched air-liquid interface (ALI) culture. We demonstrated strong influence of the different culture conditions on morphology and function of intestinal porcine epithelial cell lines in vitro. ALI culture resulted in a significant increase in cell number, epithelial cell layer thickness and expression as well as apical localisation of the microvilli-associated protein villin. Remarkable similarities regarding the morphological parameters were observed between ALI cultures and intestinal epithelial cells in vivo. Furthermore, the functional analysis of protein uptake and degradation by the epithelial cells demonstrated the necessity of sufficient oxygen supply as achieved in ALI cultures. Our study is the first report providing marked evidence that optimised oxygen supply using ALI cultures directly affects the morphological differentiation and functional properties of intestinal epithelial cells in vitro.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center