Cell Biology


Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
3 Q&A 11557 Views Jun 5, 2018
Airway basal stem cells are the progenitor cells within the airway that exhibit the capacity to self-renew and give rise to multiple types of differentiated airway epithelial cells. This stem cell-derived epithelium displays organized architecture with functional attributes of the airway mucosa. A protocol has been developed to culture and expand human airway basal stem cells while preserving their stem cell properties and capacity for subsequent mucociliary differentiation. This achievement presents a previously unrealized opportunity to maintain a durable supply of progenitor cells derived from healthy donors to differentiate into human primary airway epithelium for cellular and molecular-based studies. Further, basal stem cells can be harvested from patients with a specific airway disease, such as cystic fibrosis, enabling investigation of potentially altered behavior of disease-specific cells in the appropriate context of the airway mucosa. Here we describe, in detail, a protocol for the serial expansion of airway basal stem cells to enable the generation of nearly unlimited airway basal cells that can be stored and readily available for subsequent culturing and differentiation. In addition, we describe culturing and differentiation of airway basal stem cells on permeable transwell filters at air-liquid interface to create functional mucociliary pseudostratified polarized airway epithelial mucosa.
2 Q&A 31193 Views Mar 20, 2018
The Microbial mutagenicity Ames test is a bacterial bioassay accomplished in vitro to evaluate the mutagenicity of various environmental carcinogens and toxins. While Ames test is used to identify the revert mutations which are present in strains, it can also be used to detect the mutagenicity of environmental samples such as drugs, dyes, reagents, cosmetics, waste water, pesticides and other substances which are easily solubilized in a liquid suspension. We present the protocol for conducting Ames test in the laboratory.
0 Q&A 7116 Views Feb 20, 2018
Networks of amyloid nanofibrils fabricated from common globular proteins such as lysozyme and β-lactoglobulin have material properties that mimic the extracellular microenvironment of many cell types. Cells cultured on such amyloid fibril networks show improved attachment, spreading and in the case of mesenchymal stem cells improved differentiation. Here we describe a detailed protocol for fabricating amyloid fibril networks suitable for eukaryotic cell culture applications.
0 Q&A 8239 Views Nov 5, 2017
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in transplant patients and a leading cause of congenital birth defects (Saint Louis, 2016). Vaccination and therapeutic studies often require scalable cell culture production of wild type virus, represented by clinical isolates. Obtaining sufficient stocks of wild-type clinical HCMV is often labor intensive and inefficient due to low yield and genetic loss, presenting a barrier to studies of clinical isolates. Here we report a bioreactor method based on continuous infection, where retinal pigment epithelial (ARPE-19) cells adhered to microcarrier beads are infected in a bioreactor and used to produce high-titers of clinical isolate HCMV that maintain genetic integrity of key viral tropism factors and the viral genome. In this bioreactor, an end-stage infection can be maintained by regular addition of uninfected ARPE-19 cells, providing convenient preparation of 107-108 pfu/ml of concentrated TB40/E IE2-EYFP stocks without daily cell passaging or trypsinization. Overall, this represents a 100-fold increase in gain of virus production of 100-times compared to conventional static-culture plates, while requiring 90% less handling time. Moreover, this continuous infection environment has the potential to monitor infection dynamics with applications for real-time tracking of viral evolution.
0 Q&A 16106 Views Sep 20, 2017
This protocol aims at standardizing the procedure to obtain primary cultures of hippocampal and cerebrocortical neurons for in vitro experiments. Cultures should be prepared from cells isolated during embryonic development when neuronal precursor cells are not yet fully differentiated. This helps increasing the quality and quantity of cells, while offering minimal cell death that often occurs during dissociation of differentiated neurons. Cells plated under the appropriate conditions, either in Petri-dishes or in multi-well plates, will develop and establish synaptic contacts over time since the neuronal culture medium provides the nutrients and trophic factors required for differentiation. In this protocol we describe the methodology for the preparation of both cortical and hippocampal neuronal cultures.
0 Q&A 8103 Views Aug 20, 2017
A novel method to assess the dissolution of the core pluripotency transcription-factor circuit of mouse Embryonic Stem Cells (mESCs) has been developed (Ying et al., 2003; Betschinger et al., 2013). In order to efficiently identify genes essential for the break-down of the pluripotency network in mutant mESCs with proliferation defects, we adapted this ‘exit from pluripotency assay’ (Bodak et al., 2017; Cirera-Salinas et al., 2017). The protocol described here has been successfully applied to several mESC lines and is easily transposable from one laboratory to another.
0 Q&A 9828 Views Jul 20, 2017
A self-suppression mechanism of biofilm development in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 was recently reported. These studies required quantification of biofilms formed by mutants impaired in the biofilm-inhibitory process. Here we describe in detail the use of chlorophyll measurements as a proxy for biomass accumulation in sessile and planktonic cells of biofilm-forming strains. These measurements allow quantification of the total biomass as estimated by chlorophyll level and representation of the extent of biofilm formation by depicting the relative fraction of chlorophyll in planktonic cells.
0 Q&A 14082 Views Jun 20, 2017
Determining an accurate count of intestinal bacteria from Caenorhabditis elegans is one critical way to assess colonization proficiency by a given bacteria. This can be accomplished by culturing appropriate dilutions of worm gut bacteria on selective or differential agarized media. Because of the high concentration of bacteria in gut worm, dilution is necessary before plating onto growth media. Serial dilutions can reduce the concentration of the original intestinal sample to levels low enough for single colonies to be grown on media plates, allowing for the calculation of the initial counts of bacteria in the intestinal sample.
0 Q&A 10594 Views May 20, 2017
We have optimized a protocol for isolation of alveolar type II epithelial cells from mouse lung. Lung cell suspensions are prepared by intratracheal instillation of dispase and agarose followed by mechanical disaggregation of the lungs. Alveolar type II epithelial cells are purified from these lung cell suspensions through magnetic-based negative selection using a Biotin-antibody, Streptavidin-MicroBeads system. The purified alveolar type II epithelial cells can be cultured and maintained on fibronectin-coated plates in DMEM with 10% FBS. This protocol enables specific investigation of alveolar type II epithelial cells at molecular and cellular levels and provides an important tool to investigate in vitro the mechanisms underlying lung pathogenesis.
0 Q&A 12803 Views May 20, 2017
Brain endothelial cells are the major building block of the blood-brain barrier. To study the role of brain endothelial cells in vitro, the isolation of primary cells is of critical value. Here, we describe a protocol in which vessel fragments are isolated from adult mice. After density centrifugation and mild digestion of the fragments, outgrowing endothelial cells are selected by puromycin treatment and grown to confluence within one week.

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