Growth and Characterisation of Primary Bovine Colon Epithelial Cells In Vitro

Sascha Birkner, Susanne Weber, Angelika Dohle, Günter Schmahl and Wolfram Föllmann

Epithelial crypts from the bovine colon were obtained by using a combined mechanical and enzymatic isolation method, followed by differential D-sorbitol gradient centrifugation. By using this isolation technique, a pure fraction of epithelial crypts with minimal mesenchymal contamination was obtained. The crypts were seeded in collagen-coated plastic flasks. The attached epithelial cells proliferated and formed a confluent monolayer after 6 days in culture. Under low-serum culture conditions (1% fetal calf serum), the cells had a population doubling time of 21–22 hours. During the culture period, the colonocytes were characterised morphologically and enzymatically. The morphology of the cultured cells was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The presence of microvilli, tight junctions and desmosomes demonstrated the ability of the cultured cells to restore an epithelial-like cell monolayer. The epithelial origin of the cells was demonstrated by labelling the cells with antibodies against epithelial-specific cytokeratins 7 and 13. The functional integrity of the cells was evaluated by measuring various marker enzymes (γ-glutamyltranspeptidase, acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase, NADH-dehydrogenase) and membrane-associated Na+–K+-ATPase activity. Membrane integrity was determined by measuring the leakage of lactate dehydrogenase into the culture medium. This new culture system for bovine colon epithelial cells could be used as an in vitro model of the colon epithelium in physiological and toxicological studies.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.

Replacing Animal Use in Physiology and Pharmacology Teaching in Selected Universities in Eastern Europe — Charting a Way Forward

David G. Dewhurst and Zvezdana Z. Kojic

The aims of this study were to explore the use of animals in teaching and the implementation of innovative technology-based teaching practices across a small sample of universities in Eastern Europe. The research methods used were a questionnaire circulated four weeks before a workshop took place (in October 2009, in Belgrade, Serbia), as well as focused, face-to-face group discussions, led by one of the authors during the workshop. Twenty-two faculty (physiologists and pharmacologists), from 13 Eastern European countries, attended the meeting. Fourteen of the eighteen schools represented at the workshop were making use of animals, in some instances in quite large numbers, for their teaching. For example, a single department at a Romanian university used over 250 animals per annum, and at least 1130 animals were used, per annum, across all of the institutions. The species used in largest numbers were the rat (34%), frog/toad (29%), mouse (22%), rabbit (10%), guinea-pig (4%) and dog (1%). None of the universities sampled had implemented institution-wide virtual learning environments (VLEs), although there were isolated instances of local use of VLEs. There was relatively little current use of technology-based teaching and learning resources, but there was considerable enthusiasm to modernise teaching and to introduce innovative learning and teaching methods. The major perceived barrier to the introduction of replacement alternatives was the lack of versions in local languages. There was a consensus view that developing local language exemplars and evaluating their usefulness was likely to have the greatest impact on animal use, at least in the short-term.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.