Growth factors of stem cell niche extend the life-span of precision-cut intestinal slices in culture: A proof-of-concept study

Bigaeva, E., Bomers, J. J. M., Biel, C., Mutsaers, H. A. M., de Graaf, I. A. M., Boersema, M. & Olinga, P., Sep-2019, In : Toxicology in Vitro. 59, p. 312-321 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Precision-cut intestinal slices (PCIS) is an ex vivo culture technique that found its applications in toxicology, drug transport and drug metabolism testing, as well as in fibrosis research. The main limiting factor of PCIS as experimental model is the relatively short viability of tissue slices. Here, we describe a strategy for extending the life-span of PCIS during culture using medium that is routinely used for growing intestinal organoids. Mouse and rat PCIS cultured in standard medium progressively showed low ATP/protein content and severe tissue degradation, indicating loss of tissue viability. In turn, organoid medium, containing epithelial growth factor (EGF), Noggin and R-spondin, maintained significantly higher ATP/protein levels and better preserved intestinal architecture of mouse PCIS at 96 h. In contrast, organoid medium that additionally contained Wnt, had a clear positive effect on the ATP content of rat PCIS during 24 h of culture, but not on slice histomorphology. Our proof-of-concept study provides early evidence that employing organoid medium for PCIS culture improved tissue viability during extended incubation. Enabling lasting PCIS cultures will greatly widen their range of applications in predicting long-term intestinal toxicity of xenobiotics and elucidating their mechanism of action, among others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-321
Number of pages10
JournalToxicology in Vitro
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2019


  • Precision-cut tissue slices, ex vivo model, Small intestine, Organoid medium, Morphology, IN-VITRO MODEL, LIVER SLICES, DRUG-METABOLISM, PROLONGED INCUBATION, TISSUE-SLICES, PANETH CELLS, TRANSPORT, ORGANOIDS, TOOL, RAT

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