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Microvasc Res. 2018 Dec 18;123:50-57. doi: 10.1016/j.mvr.2018.12.002. [Epub ahead of print]

Generation of an immortalized human choroid endothelial cell line (iChEC-1) using an endothelial cell specific promoter.

Author information

1
Institute for Vision Research, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA; Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.
2
Institute for Vision Research, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA; Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA. Electronic address: Robert-Mullins@uiowa.edu.

Abstract

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of blindness worldwide. While recent studies have revealed that the loss of choroidal endothelial cells (ChECs) is critical to the disease pathogenesis of dry AMD, in vitro studies are needed to fully elucidate the disease mechanism. However, these studies remain hindered due to the lack of publically available human ChEC lines. To address this need, ChECs were harvested form donor tissue and enriched for by using magnetic cell separation using anti-CD31 conjugated microbeads. Next, lenti-viral vectors with endothelial-specific promoters driving genes necessary for immortalization, CDH5p-hTERT and CDH5p TAg, were generated. Stable integration of both gene cassettes allowed cells to maintain their proliferative state and yielded an immortalized cell line (iChEC-1). Immunocytochemical analysis of iChEC-1 confirmed the expression of important ChEC markers such as CA4, a marker of choriocapillaris endothelial cells, CDH5, and CD34, pan-endothelial cell markers. qRT-PCR analysis of expanded clones from iChEC-1 further showed that the line maintained expression of other important endothelial markers, vWF, PECAM1, and PLVAP, similar to primary cells. Functional responses were characterized by tube-forming assays and repopulation of decellularized choroid with the immortalized cell line. In conclusion, the iChEC-1 line presents a suitable immortalized human ChEC line for future in vitro studies of AMD.

KEYWORDS:

Choroid; Endothelial cells; Eye; Immortalization; Macular degeneration

PMID:
30571950
DOI:
10.1016/j.mvr.2018.12.002

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