Isolation of primary myofibroblasts from mouse and human colon tissue

J Vis Exp. 2013 Oct 12;(80):50611. doi: 10.3791/50611.

Abstract

The myofibroblast is a stromal cell of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that has been gaining considerable attention for its critical role in many GI functions. While several myofibroblast cell lines are commercially available to study these cells in vitro, research results from a cell line exposed to experimental cell culture conditions have inherent limitations due to the overly reductionist nature of the work. Use of primary myofibroblasts offers a great advantage in terms of confirming experimental findings identified in a cell line. Isolation of primary myofibroblasts from an animal model allows for the study of myofibroblasts under conditions that more closely mimic the disease state being studied. Isolation of primary myofibroblasts from human colon tissue provides arguably the most relevant experimental data, since the cells come directly from patients with the underlying disease. We describe a well-established technique that can be utilized to isolate primary myofibroblasts from both mouse and human colon tissue. These isolated cells have been characterized to be alpha-smooth muscle actin and vimentin-positive, and desmin-negative, consistent with subepithelial intestinal myofibroblasts. Primary myofibroblast cells can be grown in cell culture and used for experimental purposes over a limited number of passages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Actins / analysis
  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Colon / chemistry
  • Colon / cytology*
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Cytological Techniques / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Myofibroblasts / chemistry
  • Myofibroblasts / cytology*
  • Myofibroblasts / metabolism
  • Vimentin / analysis
  • Vimentin / metabolism

Substances

  • Actins
  • Vimentin