The use of pluripotent human embryonic stem (hES) cells for tissue engineering may provide advantages over traditional sources of progenitor cells because of their ability to give rise to multiple cell types and their unlimited expansion potential. We derived cell populations with properties of ectodermal and mesenchymal cells in two-dimensional culture and incorporated these divergent cell populations into three-dimensional (3D) epithelial tissues. When grown in specific media and substrate conditions, two-dimensional cultures were enriched in cells (EDK1) with mesenchymal morphology and surface markers. Cells with a distinct epithelial morphology (HDE1) that expressed cytokeratin 12 and β-catenin at cell junctions became the predominant cell type when EDK1 were grown on surfaces enriched in keratinocyte-derived extracellular matrix proteins. When these cells were incorporated into the stromal and epithelial tissue compartments of 3D tissues, they generated multilayer epithelia similar to those generated with foreskin-derived epithelium and fibroblasts. Three-dimensional tissues demonstrated stromal cells with morphologic features of mature fibroblasts, type IV collagen deposition in the basement membrane, and a stratified epithelium that expressed cytokeratin 12. By deriving two distinct cell lineages from a common hES cell source to fabricate complex tissues, it is possible to explore environmental cues that will direct hES-derived cells toward optimal tissue form and function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering