Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge

Progress Report 2013


Progress Report 2013: Project 1 – Chromaffin progenitor cells in adrenal tissue and tumour formation

Achievements/established models:

A defined, controlled culture system for primary bovine chromaffin progenitors with novel biomarkers and modulators.

Summary of achievements:

Primary progenitor cell culture systems are increasingly used in biomedical research but their value as drug discovery tools is hindered by the common inclusion of serum in the culture medium and the difficulty of growing cells in monolayer form. Serum-free systems contain no unknown substances that may arbitrarily force cells to grow utilizing specific signal transduction pathways at the expense of others which may also be relevant to the function of the cells in vivo. Monolayer cultures, in contrast to sphere cultures, offer the advantages of simplicity in visualization and, more importantly, more uniform conditions and access to treatments for all cells in the culture.

We have successfully established a defined, serum-free monolayer cell culture system for chromaffin cells that allows for the control of their self-renewal and differentiation states, reveals new biomarkers, and can be used for drug discovery.

Our culture methodology allows for the induced differentiation of these cells by simple mitogen withdrawal. We finally show that the system can be used for target identification and present treatments that promote their growth or alter their catecholamine production. We have achieved a severalfold increase in dopamine production through pharmacological manipulations of chromaffin progenitors in culture.