Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Proliferation and differentiation of intestinal Caco-2 cells are maintained in culture with human platelet lysate instead of fetal calf serum

Cell lines are widely used as in vitro model systems and substitute for animal experiments. The frequently used Caco-2 cell line is considered to reflect characteristics of differentiated intestinal epithelium. However, the need to culture the cells with fetal calf serum (FCS) induces a high variability, risk of contamination and is ethically disputed. We tested the culture of Caco-2 cells with human platelet lysate (PL) instead of FCS. We compared cell viability and differentiation by measuring ATP levels, gene and protein expression of specific markers in total cell extracts, brush border membrane vesicles (BBM) and lipid rafts (LR). Cell viability was slightly enhanced in cells grown with PL compared to FCS. The cells differentiated to an intestinal phenotype like the cells cultured in FCS, as indicated by the similar gene expression levels of hexose and protein transport proteins and the structural protein VILLIN. BBM showed a comparable distribution of the intestinal hydrolases, indicating a maintained cell membrane polarity. The distribution of the marker protein FLOTILLIN-2 in LR was also similar. We conclude that PL is an exquisite and suitable replacement for FCS in the culture of Caco-2 cells that can eliminate many disadvantages incurred due to the use of FCS.

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