Vinblastine treatment decreases the undifferentiated cell contamination of human iPSC-derived intestinal epithelial-like cells

Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2021 Jan 20;20:463-472. doi: 10.1016/j.omtm.2021.01.005. eCollection 2021 Mar 12.


Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived intestinal epithelial cells (hiPSC-IECs) are expected to be utilized in regenerative medicine. To perform a safe transplantation without the risk of tumor formation, residual undifferentiated hiPSCs must be removed from hiPSC-IECs. In this study, we examined whether vinblastine (a multiple drug resistance 1 [MDR1] substrate) could remove residual undifferentiated hiPSCs in hiPSC-IECs and attempted to generate hiPSC-IECs applicable to transplantation medicine. We found that the expression levels of pluripotent markers were largely decreased and those of intestinal markers were increased by vinblastine treatment. The treatment of undifferentiated hiPSCs with vinblastine significantly decreased their viability. These results suggested that undifferentiated hiPSCs can be eliminated from hiPSC-IECs by vinblastine treatment. We hypothesized that MDR1-negative cells (such as undifferentiated hiPSCs) die upon vinblastine treatment because they are unable to excrete vinblastine. As expected, the cell viability of MDR1-knockout hiPSC-IECs was significantly decreased by vinblastine treatment. Furthermore, teratomas were formed by subcutaneous transplantation of hiPSC-IECs mixed with undifferentiated hiPSCs into mice, but they were not observed when the transplanted cells were pre-treated with vinblastine. Vinblastine-treated hiPSC-IECs would be an effective cell source for safe regenerative medicine.

Keywords: differentiation; iPS cell; intestinal epithelial cells; regenerative medicine; vinblastine.