Isolation, Maintenance and Differentiation of Primary Tracheal Basal Cells from Adult Rhesus Macaque

Methods Protoc. 2019 Oct 1;2(4):79. doi: 10.3390/mps2040079.


In this report, we describe methodologies for the isolation and culture of primary rhesus macaque tracheal basal cells, their cryopreservation, long term storage and differentiation. These are comparable to state-of-the-art protocols that have been developed for mouse and human airway basal cells. This method is based on the use of proprietary media, providing an easily reproducible and applicable protocol for usage in biosafety level 2 (BSL2) settings. Tracheas from rhesus macaques were isolated after animal euthanasia and subjected to enzymatic digestion overnight. Cells of the epithelial layer were scraped off of the trachea for cell culture. Twenty-four hours after plating basal cells had attached and nonadherent cells were removed. First passages of basal cells can be frozen for early passage storage in liquid nitrogen or propagated and differentiated on an air-liquid interface and in a tracheosphere assay up to passage seven. This protocol provides a platform for the analysis of basal cells from a close evolutionary relative to humans.

Keywords: air–liquid interface; primary culture; rhesus macaque; tracheal basal cells; tracheospheres.