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Biochemical and biophysical research communications

3D-fibroblast tissues constructed by a cell-coat technology enhance tight-junction formation of human colon epithelial cells.


PMID 25576862

Abstract

Caco-2, human colon carcinoma cell line, has been widely used as a model system for intestinal epithelial permeability because Caco-2 cells express tight-junctions, microvilli, and a number of enzymes and transporters characteristic of enterocytes. However, the functional differentiation and polarization of Caco-2 cells to express sufficient tight-junctions (a barrier) usually takes over 21 days in culture. This may be due to the cell culture environment, for example inflammation induced by plastic petri dishes. Three-dimensional (3D) sufficient cell microenvironments similar to in vivo natural conditions (proteins and cells), will promote rapid differentiation and higher functional expression of tight junctions. Herein we report for the first time an enhancement in tight-junction formation by 3D-cultures of Caco-2 cells on monolayered (1L) and eight layered (8L) normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDF). Trans epithelial electric resistance (TEER) of Caco-2 cells was enhanced in the 3D-cultures, especially 8L-NHDF tissues, depending on culture times and only 10 days was enough to reach the same TEER value of Caco-2 monolayers after a 21 day incubation. Relative mRNA expression of tight-junction proteins of Caco-2 cells on 3D-cultures showed higher values than those in monolayer structures. Transporter gene expression patterns of Caco-2 cells on 3D-constructs were almost the same as those of Caco-2 monolayers, suggesting that there was no effect of 3D-cultures on transporter protein expression. The expression correlation between carboxylesterase 1 and 2 in 3D-cultures represented similar trends with human small intestines. The results of this study clearly represent a valuable application of 3D-Caco-2 tissues for pharmaceutical applications.

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