Improvement of storage medium for cultured human retinal pigment epithelial cells using factorial design
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Storage of human retinal pigment epithelium (hRPE) can contribute to the advancement of cell-based RPE replacement therapies. The present study aimed to improve the quality of stored hRPE cultures by identifying storage medium additives that, alone or in combination, contribute to enhancing cell viability while preserving morphology and phenotype. hRPE cells were cultured in the presence of the silk protein sericin until pigmentation. Cells were then stored for 10 days in storage medium plus sericin and either one of 46 diferent additives. Individual efects of each additive on cell viability were assessed using epifuorescence microscopy. Factorial design identifed promising additive combinations by extrapolating their individual efects. Supplementing the storage medium with sericin combined with adenosine, L-ascorbic acid and allopurinol resulted in the highest cell viability (98.6 ± 0.5%) after storage for three days, as measured by epifuorescence microscopy. Flow cytometry validated the fndings. Proteomics identifed 61 upregulated and 65 downregulated proteins in this storage group compared to the unstored control. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated the presence of melanosomes after storage in the optimized medium. We conclude that the combination of adenosine, L-ascorbic acid, allopurinol and sericin in minimal essential medium preserves RPE pigmentation while maintaining cell viability during storage.