Mahendrasingam, S, Osborn, A, Israr, MZ, Riasat, K, Gater, RVA, Spano, A, Gogo-Fyneface, D, Worrall, AJ and Furness, DN (2022) The effects of substrate composition and topography on the characteristics and growth of cell cultures of cochlear fibrocytes. Hearing Research, 415. 108427 - 108427. ISSN 0378-5955

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Spiral ligament fibrocytes of the cochlea play homoeostatic roles in hearing and their degeneration contributes to hearing loss. Culturing fibrocytes in vitro provides a way to evaluate their functional characteristics and study possible therapies for hearing loss. We investigated whether in vivo characteristics of fibrocytes could be recapitulated in vitro by modifying the culture substrates and carried out proof of concept studies for potential transplantation of culture cells into the inner ear. Fibrocytes cultured from 4 to 5-week old CD/1 mice were grown on 2D substrates coated with collagen I, II, V or IX and, after harvesting, onto or into 3D substrates (hydrogels) of collagen I alone or mixed collagen I and II at a 1:1 ratio. We also assessed magnetic nanoparticle (MNP) uptake. Cell counts, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural studies showed that fibrocytes grown on 2D substrates proliferated, formed both small spindle-shaped and large flat cells that avidly took up MNPs. Of the different collagen coatings, only collagen II had an effect, causing a reduced size of the larger cells. On hydrogels, the cells were plump/rounded with extended processes, resembling native cells. They formed networks over the surface and became incorporated into the gel. In all culture formats, the majority co-expressed caldesmon, aquaporin 1, S-100 and sodium potassium ATPase, indicating a mixed or uncharacterised phenotype. Time-course experiments showed a decrease to ∼50% of the starting population by 4d after seeding on collagen I hydrogels, but better survival (∼60%) was found on collagen I + II gels, whilst TEM revealed the presence of apoptotic cells. Cells grown within gels additionally showed necrosis. These results demonstrate that fibrocytes grown in 3D recapitulate in vivo morphology of native fibrocytes, but have poorer survival, compared with 2D. Therefore hydrogel cultures could be used to study fibrocyte function and might also offer avenues for cell-replacement therapies, but need more optimization for therapeutic use. Fibrocyte function could be modified using MNPs in combination, for example, with gene transfection.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final version of this article and all relevant information related to it, including copyrights, can be found on the publisher website at;!
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QD Chemistry
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2022 10:34
Last Modified: 25 Dec 2022 01:30

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