Indexed on: 08 Jul '19Published on: 11 Apr '19Published in: The Anatomical Record
We have previously developed an in vitro organotypic culture setting in order to investigate the performance of cellular substrates transplanted to the auditory nervous system. We have utilized this system to predict the efficacy of human neural progenitor cells (HNPCs) in transplantation to the auditory nerve to facilitate regeneration of sensory auditory nerve structures in vivo and in vitro. To optimize the growth and differentiation of HNPCs we have introduced an expansion of our in vitro system, exploring the impact of a growth factor-altered microenvironment. Here, we seeded HNPCs as a dissociated sphere culture on a hydrogel matrix coating (Matrigel®). We evaluated the performance of HNPCs by studying their survival, differentiation and their axon-forming capacity. In identical culture conditions, we found that the overall survival-rate of HNPCs on Matrigel® coated surfaces was better than that on surfaces that were not coated with Matrigel®. Furthermore, cells on Matrigel® differentiated into neuronal cells to a far greater extent leading to strong synaptic marker signatures. Overall, our findings show that the present Matrigel® matrix setting offers an experimental environment for the HNPCs to grow where these cells show novel and promising phenotypic characteristics suitable for further in vivo transplantation to the auditory nerve. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.