Human primary middle ear epithelial cell culture: A novel in vitro model to study otitis media.
Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol
Objectives: Otitis media (OM) is a ubiquitous pediatric disease leading to a significant health care burden. There is no medication beneficial to resolving COM fluid, highlighting the need for research in the field. Crucially, current human middle ear epithelial cell models are transformed cells not recapitulating physiological functions. Herein, we describe a new method to proliferate and differentiate pediatric primary middle ear epithelial cells (pMEEC) from patients as a physiological model for the study of OM.
Methods: We adapted a cell reprogramming protocol using irradiated fibroblast feeder medium in addition to Rho kinase inhibitor to proliferate pMEEC collected during cochlear implant surgery. Cells were plated on transwell membranes, proliferated with conditionally reprogrammed culture medium, and transferred to air-liquid interface (ALI). Cultures were maintained for 4 weeks at ALI, photos were taken and cell lysates and secretions were collected over time for characterization analysis using quantitative polymerase chain reaction, Western bolt, and proteomics. Keratins, MUC5B and MUC5AC mucins, and beta tubulin (TUBB) were analyzed at the mRNA and protein level.
Results: Cultures took a mean of 2 weeks to proliferate before transwell plating and forming a tight epithelium at ALI from 2 to 4 weeks. Although mRNA expression of MUC5B, MUC5AC, TUBB, and keratin 5 (KRT5) were variable depending on the differentiation stage and the patient, both TUBB and KRT5 proteins were detected until week 2.
Conclusion: We demonstrate a novel method to proliferate and differentiate pMEECs that express epithelial markers and that are able to secrete mucins for the study of OM.
Level of Evidence: NA.
Chen, Y., Val, S., Krueger, A., Zhong, L., Panigrahi, A., Nino, G., Wolf, S., & Preciado, D. (2019). Human primary middle ear epithelial cell culture: A novel in vitro model to study otitis media.. Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol, 4 (6). http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/lio2.319