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Cryopreservation of Alginate-Encapsulated Recombinant Cells for Antiangiogenic Therapy

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The potential benefit of continuous local administration of antiangiogenic proteins to CNS tumors in vivo has recently been demonstrated using endostatin-producing recombinant cells encapsulated in alginate beads. Due to the treatment potential of transplanted alginate-encapsulated cells producing therapeutic proteins, we describe a successful method of cryopreservation (CP) of such beads, in which cellular viability, alginate structure, and protein secretion were maintained. Alginate beads containing human embryonic kidney cells (HEK 293 cells) stably transfected with the gene encoding for endostatin were cryopreserved in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) using a slow freezing procedure. Briefly, the DMSO concentration was gradually increased prior to the freezing procedure. The cryotubes were further supercooled to −7.5°C and nucleated. Thereafter, the samples were cooled at a rate of 0.25°C/min and stored in liquid nitrogen. The viability of the encapsulated cells was assessed using confocal microscopy quantification (CLSM) technique and a MTS assay. The cell cycle distribution inside the beads was assessed by DNA flow cytometry and endostatin production was determined by an endostatin-specific ELISA assay, both prior to and after CP. CLSM measurements showed sustained esterase activity in the beads after thawing, with only a slight transient decrease 24 h after CP. The MTS assay verified these findings by displaying similar variations of intracellular dehydrogenase activity. Flow cytometric analyses revealed no cryorelated disturbances in cellular ploidy. Furthermore, ELISA measurements showed a well-preserved endostatin production after CP. In conclusion, this work describes the successful CP of alginate-encapsulated recombinant cells secreting a therapeutic protein. Together with previous published reports, these results further substantiate the feasibility and potential of cell encapsulation therapy in the treatment of malignant tumors.

Keywords: Alginate encapsulation; Antiangiogenic therapy; Cryopreservation; Endostatin; Recombinant cells

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: 1: *NORLUX Neuro-Oncology, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Bergen, Jonas Lies vei 91, 5009 Bergen, Norway 2: †Department of Oncology, Haukeland University Hospital, 5021 Bergen, Norway 3: ‡NORLUX Neuro-Oncology, Centre de Recherche Public Santé, Luxembourg

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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