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Yuan Lei, Darryl R. Overby, A. Thomas Read, W. Daniel Stamer, C. Ross Ethier; A New Method for Selection of Angular Aqueous Plexus Cells from Porcine Eyes: A Model for Schlemm's Canal Endothelium. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(11):5744-5750. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-5703.
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The authors sought to develop a technique for isolating and culturing angular aqueous plexus (AAP) cells from more plentiful porcine eyes. AAP is an analogue of Schlemm's canal.
Cells were differentially selected with puromycin, a toxin often used to select brain microvascular endothelial cells based on the expression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp), a multidrug resistance efflux pump. Trabecular meshwork containing AAP was dissected and pooled from fresh porcine eyes, digested in collagenase I, washed, filtered, and cultured for 8 days in a gelatin-coated plastic flask. Cells were then selected by exposure to 4 μg/mL puromycin for 2 days in the culture medium. Cells were fixed and immunostained for P-gp, ICAM II, von Willebrand factor (vWF), VE-cadherin, and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA).
Histology of the limbus showed that the dissection was limited to the trabecular meshwork region, including the AAP. Before puromycin treatment, cells appeared heterogeneous and polygonal, suggestive of a mixed population. More than 90% of the cells were removed by puromycin, leaving a population that appeared uniformly cobblestone-like when grown to confluence and that was contact inhibited. Puromycin-selected cells stained positively for the endothelial markers ICAM II, vWF, and VE-cadherin but negatively for α-SMA, consistent with staining patterns in whole tissue.
Based on marker expression, morphology, and behavior in culture, puromycin-selected cells from porcine outflow tissues are AAP endothelial cells. Thus, porcine eyes can provide a plentiful alternative cell source for studying Schlemm's canal biology related to ocular hypertension.
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