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In Vitro Cell Dev Biol. 1988 Feb;24(2):138-47.

Microtiter micromass cultures of limb-bud mesenchymal cells.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242.

Abstract

A method is described for growing high-density micromass cultures of chick and mouse limb mesenchyme cells in 96-well microtiter plates (microT microM cultures). Rapid quantitative estimates of chondrogenic expression were obtained by automated spectrophotometric analysis of Alcian-blue-stained cartilage matrix extracts performed in the wells in which the cells had been grown. Quantitative estimates of myogenic expression were obtained similarly using anti-sarcomere myosin monoclonal antibody and modified ELISA techniques. This microT microM-ELISA method may be adapted for use with other antigens for which specific antibodies are available. These methods were used to compare cartilage and muscle differentiation in 1 to 4 d microT microM cultures grown in serum-containing (SCM) and defined (DM) media. The DM contains minimal additives (insulin, hydrocortisone, and in some cases, ascorbate or transferrin) and supports both chondrogenesis and myogenesis. The colorimetric analyses agree well with the morphologic appraisal of chondrogenesis and myogenesis. Similar numbers of cartilage nodules formed in all cultures, but in DM the nodules failed to enlarge; explaining the reduced matrix synthesis in DM as compared with SCM, and suggesting that nodule enlargement is a discrete, serum-dependent step. Studies of selected additives to DM show that transferrin enhances myogenesis, ascorbic acid enhances chondrogenesis, and retinoic acid inhibits chondrogenesis. Together, the microT microM system, in situ colorimetric assays of chondrogenesis and myogenesis, and DM will allow rapid prescreening of teratogens and screening of various bioactive compounds (e.g., hormones, growth factors, vitamins, adhesion factors) for effects on limb mesenchymal cell differentiation.

PMID:
3343192
DOI:
10.1007/bf02623891
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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