Authors: Y.-H. Wang, S. Jandhyam, V.V. Dukhande, W.J. Gao, H.-Y. Gu, M.B. Lai, S.W. Leung, J.C.K. Lai
Affilation: Idaho State University College of Pharmacy & Biomedical Research Institute, United States
Pages: 164 - 167
Keywords: co-culture model, tissue engineering, nanotoxicity, cell signaling
Cell model systems in vitro play vital roles in recent advances in toxicological and tissue engineering research. They are particularly versatile in facilitating signaling and related mechanistic studies. Although the 3-D cell models better simulate the in vivo cellular architecture in tissues and organs, the advances made with such models were largely based on studies employing only a single cell type. Thus, there is a need for developing more co-culture cell systems because they provide different structural and functional perspectives that single-cell-type models do not offer. Our work on cerebrocortical neurons co-cultured on a monolayer of astrocytes reveals that neurons are more susceptible to manganese toxicity than astrocytes even though the astrocytes appear to provide some protective effect on the neurons in co-culture. We have adopted a similar approach to develop a co-culture cell model for short- and longer-term nanotoxicity and tissue engineering studies. Our co-culture model consists of a monolayer of human astrocytoma U87 (astrocytes-like) cells onto which we seed human neuroblastoma SK-N-SH (neurons-like) cells. We have characterized and optimized the conditions whereby these two cell types could be co-cultured and have employed this co-culture model to further elucidate the cytotoxicity of metallic oxide nanoparticles.