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The Development and Characterization of an HEK293-Derived Cell Line for Use in an Intratumoral Cytokine Delivery System

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As part of ongoing work to develop a method of cytokine delivery for use as an intratumoral depot, we noted that HEK293 cells, encapsulated in alginate, died within 24–48 h after in vivo, intratumoral implantation. We hypothesized that the highly hypoxic and acidic conditions found inside the tumor was the cause of the cells' premature demise. Therefore, we set out to develop a cell line, derived from HEK293, that would survive these hostile conditions. The HEK293 line was selected in 0.3–0.5% oxygen conditions over several weeks, followed by a further 6-week period of culture in alternating hypoxic and normoxic conditions. The most rapidly growing clones were selected and grown in normoxic conditions for several weeks to ensure their stability. The clones were then compared to the original line in terms of cell proliferation in normoxia and hypoxia, colony-forming efficiency, and morphological characteristics. The resulting line was able to proliferate in the harshest of conditions and continues to release its biological payload after alginate microencapsulation.

Keywords: Cytokines; HEK293 cells; Hypoxic cell selection; Intratumoral environment; Mouse

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 2: Stem Cell Program, Institute of Zoology/Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica, 129 Academia Rd Sec 2, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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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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