Optimized cultivation of porcine choroid plexus epithelial cells, a blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier model, for studying granulocyte transmigration
The blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCSFB) plays important roles during the transport of substances into the brain, the pathogenesis of central nervous system (CNS) diseases, and neuro-immunological processes. Along these lines, transmigration of granulocytes across the blood-cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) barrier (BCSFB) is a hallmark of inflammatory events in the CNS. Choroid plexus (CP) epithelial cells are an important tool to generate in vitro models of the BCSFB. A porcine CP epithelial cell line (PCP-R) has been shown to present properties of the BCSFB, including a strong barrier function, when cultivated on cell culture filter inserts containing a membrane with 0.4 µm pore size. For optimal analysis of pathogen and host immune cell interactions with the basolateral side of the CP epithelium, which presents the physiologically relevant "blood side", the CP epithelial cells need to be grown on the lower face of the filter in an inverted cell culture insert model, with the supporting membrane possessing a pore size of at least 3.0 µm. Here, we demonstrate that PCP-R cells cultivated in the inverted model on filter support membranes with a pore size of 3.0 µm following a "conventional" protocol grow through the pores and cross the membrane, forming a second layer on the upper face. Therefore, we developed a cell cultivation protocol, which strongly reduces crossing of the membrane by the cells. Under these conditions, PCP-R cells retain important properties of a BCSFB model, as was observed by the formation of continuous tight junctions and a strong barrier function demonstrated by a high transepithelial electrical resistance and a low permeability for macromolecules. Importantly, compared with the conventional cultivation conditions, our optimized model allows improved investigations of porcine granulocyte transmigration across the PCP-R cell layer.
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