Journal of dental research

Gingival Fibroblasts as Autologous Feeders for Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.

PMID 26467419


Human gingival fibroblasts (hGFs) present an attractive source of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which are expected to be a powerful tool for regenerative dentistry. However, problems to be addressed prior to clinical application include the use of animal-derived feeder cells for cultures. The aim of this study was to establish an autologous hGF-derived iPSC (hGF-iPSC) culture system by evaluating the feeder ability of hGFs. In both serum-containing and serum-free media, hGFs showed higher proliferation than human dermal fibroblasts (hDFs). Three hGF strains were isolated under serum-free conditions, although 2 showed impaired proliferation. When hGF-iPSCs were transferred onto mitomycin C-inactivated hGFs, hDFs, or mouse-derived SNL feeders, hGF and SNL feeders were clearly hGF-iPSC supportive for more than 50 passages, whereas hDF feeders were only able to maintain undifferentiated hGF-iPSC growth for a few passages. After 20 passages on hGF feeders, embryonic stem cell marker expression and CpG methylation at the NANOG and OCT3/4 promoters were similar for hGF-iPSCs cultured on hGF and SNL feeder cells. Long-term cultures of hGF-iPSCs on hGF feeders sustained their normal karyotype and pluripotency. On hGF feeders, hGF-iPSC colonies were surrounded by many colony-derived fibroblast-like cells, and the size of intact colonies at 7 d after passage was significantly larger than that on SNL feeders. Allogeneic hGF strains also maintained hGF-iPSCs for 10 passages. Compared with hDFs, hGFs showed a higher production of laminin-332, laminin α5 chain, and insulin-like growth factor-II, which have been reported to sustain the long-term self-renewal of pluripotent stem cells. These results suggest that hGFs possess an excellent feeder capability and thus can be used as alternatives to conventional mouse-derived SNL and hDF feeders. In addition, our findings suggest that hGF feeders are promising candidates for animal component-free ex vivo expansion of autologous hGF-iPSCs, thus providing an important step toward the future therapeutic application of hGF-iPSCs.