Tissue Engineering of the Intestine in a Murine Model

Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Saban Research Institute, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.
Journal of Visualized Experiments (Impact Factor: 1.33). 12/2012; DOI: 10.3791/4279
Source: PubMed


Tissue-engineered small intestine (TESI) has successfully been used to rescue Lewis rats after massive small bowel resection, resulting in return to preoperative weights within 40 days.(1) In humans, massive small bowel resection can result in short bowel syndrome, a functional malabsorptive state that confers significant morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs including parenteral nutrition dependence, liver failure and cirrhosis, and the need for multivisceral organ transplantation.(2) In this paper, we describe and document our protocol for creating tissue-engineered intestine in a mouse model with a multicellular organoid units-on-scaffold approach. Organoid units are multicellular aggregates derived from the intestine that contain both mucosal and mesenchymal elements,(3) the relationship between which preserves the intestinal stem cell niche.(4) In ongoing and future research, the transition of our technique into the mouse will allow for investigation of the processes involved during TESI formation by utilizing the transgenic tools available in this species.(5)The availability of immunocompromised mouse strains will also permit us to apply the technique to human intestinal tissue and optimize the formation of human TESI as a mouse xenograft before its transition into humans. Our method employs good manufacturing practice (GMP) reagents and materials that have already been approved for use in human patients, and therefore offers a significant advantage over approaches that rely upon decellularized animal tissues. The ultimate goal of this method is its translation to humans as a regenerative medicine therapeutic strategy for short bowel syndrome.

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    • "While HIOs may be a viable approach to treat SBS, how to scale small HIO constructs into viable intestine remains a challenge. Here, we explored two distinct approaches to create scaffolds for tissue engineering the small intestine: (1) decellularized porcine intestinal ECM scaffolds and (2) porous polyglycolic/poly L lactic acid (PGA/PLLA) scaffolds (Barthel et al., 2012; Grant et al., 2015; Levin et al., 2013; Sala et al., 2011; Wulkersdorfer et al., 2011). We reasoned that either of these approaches, if successful, would be scalable in order to generate a tissue engineered small intestine (TESI) construct suitable for transplantation. "
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    ABSTRACT: Short bowel syndrome (SBS) is characterized by poor nutrient absorption due to a deficit of healthy intestine. Current treatment practices rely on providing supportive medical therapy with parenteral nutrition; while life saving, such interventions are not curative and are still associated with significant co-morbidities. As approaches to lengthen remaining intestinal tissue have been met with only limited success and intestinal transplants have poor survival outcomes, new approaches to treating SBS are necessary. Human intestine derived from embryonic stem cells (hESCs) or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), called human intestinal organoids (HIOs), have the potential to offer a personalized and scalable source of intestine for regenerative therapies. However, given that HIOs are small three-dimensional structures grown in vitro, methods to generate usable HIO-derived constructs are needed. We investigated the ability of hESCs or HIOs to populate acellular porcine intestinal matrices and artificial polyglycolic/poly L lactic acid (PGA/PLLA) scaffolds, and examined the ability of matrix/scaffolds to thrive when transplanted in vivo. Our results demonstrate that the acellular matrix alone is not sufficient to instruct hESC differentiation towards an endodermal or intestinal fate. We observed that while HIOs reseed acellular porcine matrices in vitro, the HIO-reseeded matrices do not thrive when transplanted in vivo. In contrast, HIO-seeded PGA/PLLA scaffolds thrive in vivo and develop into tissue that looks nearly identical to adult human intestinal tissue. Our results suggest that HIO-seeded PGA/PLLA scaffolds are a promising avenue for developing the mucosal component of tissue engineered human small intestine, which need to be explored further to develop them into fully functional tissue.
    Biology Open 10/2015; DOI:10.1242/bio.013235 · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Short bowel syndrome (SBS) is the most common cause of intestinal failure in children. It is defined as the inability to maintain adequate nutrition enterally as a result of a major loss of the small intestine. SBS is a life-threatening entity associated with potential significant morbidity and mortality. The etiology in the pediatric age group includes necrotizing enterocolitis (32 %), atresia (20 %), volvulus (18 %), gastroschisis (17 %), and aganglionosis (6 %). It is characterized by substrate malabsorption, electrolyte imbalance, intestinal bacterial overgrowth, steatorrhea, and weight loss. Current medical management includes parenteral nutrition, progressive feeds as tolerated, various medications, and surgical manipulations. However, frequently this management is not successful in achieving the goal of attaining normal growth and development without parenteral nutrition. It has been known for decades that there is a normal physiologic response of the residual intestine to massive bowel resection referred to as intestinal adaptation. The mechanisms that control this process are unknown. Unfortunately, intestinal adaptation and the current management are not always successful. As a result of new knowledge regarding the pathophysiology of SBS over the past two decades, several novel strategies have been developed in experimental animal models as well as limited clinical trials in infants and children. They can be divided into several categories that potentially influence intestinal (1) absorption, (2) secretion, (3) motility, and (4) adaptation. More recently, newer modalities have been studied including small intestine transplantation, and the use of specific intestinal growth factors. Ultimately, tissue and organ engineering will become the treatment for infants and children with SBS.
    Pediatric Surgery International 08/2013; 29(10). DOI:10.1007/s00383-013-3404-7 · 1.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Short bowel syndrome causes significant morbidity and mortality. Tissue-engineered intestine may serve as a viable replacement. Tissue-engineered small intestine (TESI) has previously been generated in the mouse model from donor cells that were harvested and immediately reimplanted; however, this technique may prove impossible in children who are critically ill, hemodynamically unstable, or septic. We hypothesized that organoid units (OU), multicellular clusters containing epithelium and mesenchyme, could be cryopreserved for delayed production of TESI. Methods: OU were isolated from <3 wk-old mouse or human ileum. OU were then cryopreserved by either standard snap freezing or vitrification. In the snap freezing protocol, OU were suspended in cryoprotectant and transferred directly to -80°C for storage. The vitrification protocol began with a stepwise increase in cryoprotectant concentration followed by liquid supercooling of the OU solution to -13°C and nucleation with a metal rod to induce vitrification. Samples were then cooled to -80°C at a controlled rate of -1°C/min and subsequently plunged into liquid nitrogen for long-term storage. OU from both groups were maintained in cryostorage for at least 72 h and thawed in a 37°C water bath. Cryoprotectant was removed with serial sucrose dilutions and OU were assessed by Trypan blue assay for post-cryopreservation viability. Via techniques previously described by our laboratory, the thawed murine or human OU were either cultured in vitro or implanted on a scaffold into the omentum of a syngeneic or irradiated Nonobese Diabetic/Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, gamma chain deficient adult mouse. The resultant TESI was analyzed by histology and immunofluorescence. Results: After cryopreservation, the viability of murine OU was significantly higher in the vitrification group (93 ± 2%, mean ± standard error of the mean) compared with standard freezing (56 ± 6%) (P < 0.001, unpaired t-test, n = 25). Human OU demonstrated similar viability after vitrification (89 ± 2%). In vitro culture of thawed OU produced expanding epithelial spheres supported by a layer of mesenchyme. TESI was successfully generated from the preserved OU. Hematoxylin and eosin staining demonstrated a mucosa composed of a simple columnar epithelium whereas immunofluorescence staining confirmed the presence of both progenitor and differentiated epithelial cells. Furthermore, beta-2-microglobulin confirmed that the human TESI epithelium originated from human cells. Conclusions: We demonstrated improved multicellular viability after vitrification over conventional cryopreservation techniques and the first successful vitrification of murine and human OU with subsequent TESI generation. Clinical application of this method may allow for delayed autologous implantation of TESI for children in extremis.
    Journal of Surgical Research 05/2014; 190(2). DOI:10.1016/j.jss.2014.04.041 · 1.94 Impact Factor
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