A method for the isolation of human gastric mucous epithelial cells for primary cell culture: A comparison of biopsy vs surgical tissue

Michael Rutten, Donald R. Campbell, Cheryl A. Luttropp, Wendy M. Fowler, Mitchell A. Hawkey, C. Richard Boland, Eugene R. Kraus, Brett Sheppard, Richard A. Crass, Karen E. Deeveney, Clifford Deveney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


We have developed a method for the isolation and growth of normal human gastric mucous epithelial cells using biopsies or surgically resected tissues as the source of the cells. The attachment and growth of cells were dependent upon: (1) cell planting density, ~50,000 cells/cm 2; (2) extracellular matrix (fibronectin); and (3) and the use of a porous filter. In all experiments we found better cells attachment and growth of human gastric mucous cells isolated from surgical specimens compared with those gastric mucous cells isolated from gastric biopsies. The initial cell viability (as measured by Trypan-blue) was the same in both populations of gastric mucous epithelial cells isolated from either gastric biopsies or surgical specimens. After 4-5 days in culture one could detect various amounts of mucin in all the cells using either periodic acid Schiff (PAS) staining or a specific anti-mucin antibody. A similar pattern of much straining was also found in primary cultures of guinea pig gastric mucous epithelial cells. Immunohistochemical staining for chief cells (anti-pepsinogen) or parietal cells (anti-H +/K + ATPasc) in the gastric mucous cuboidal-like epithelial cells with tight junctions, desmosomes, short microvilli, a filamentous terminal web, mucous granules, and basal lamina-like structure. We could not detect the presence of fibroblasts during the 7-9 days that the primary cells were in culture. This cell culture method will prove useful in the isolation of normal human gastric mucous epithelial cells for in vitro studies of gastric mucosal injury and repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-281
Number of pages13
JournalMethods in Cell Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1996



  • Cell culture
  • Gastric mucosa
  • Human cells
  • Mucous epithelial cells
  • Stomach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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