Molecular Profiling of Multiplexed Gene Markers to Assess Viability of Ex Vivo Human Colon Explant Cultures

Biores Open Access. 2015 Nov 1;4(1):425-30. doi: 10.1089/biores.2015.0029. eCollection 2015.


Human colon tissue explant culture provides a physiologically relevant model system to study human gut biology. However, the small (20-30 mg) and complex tissue samples used present challenges for monitoring tissue stability, viability, and provision of sufficient tissue for analyses. Combining molecular profiling with explant culture has potential to overcome such limitations, permitting interrogation of complex gene regulation required to maintain gut mucosa in culture, monitor responses to culture environments and interventions. Human ex vivo colon explant gene expression profiles were assayed using an in-house custom-designed hCellMarkerPlex assay at culture time points 0, 1, 2, 4, and 14 h. Characteristic profiles of epithelial cell markers linked to differentiation, cellular polarization, and apoptosis were correlated with visible histochemical changes in explant epithelium during culture and tissue donors. The GenomeLab System provides effective assay of multiple targets not possible from small tissue samples with conventional gene expression technology platforms. This is advantageous to increase the utility of the ex vivo human colon model in applications to interrogate this complex and dynamic tissue environment for use in analytical testing.

Keywords: cell marker; gut explant; microanatomy; molecular profile; multiplex.