Toward a 3D in vitro model based on decellularized thymus to maintain adult thymic ephitelial cells functionality

Strusi, Valentina (2014) Toward a 3D in vitro model based on decellularized thymus to maintain adult thymic ephitelial cells functionality , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze biomediche, 26 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6205.
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During my PhD,I have been develop an innovative technique to reproduce in vitro the 3D thymic microenvironment, to be used for growth and differentiation of thymocytes, and possible transplantation replacement in conditions of depressed thymic immune regulation. The work has been developed in the laboratory of Tissue Engineering at the University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland, under the tutorship of Prof.Ivan Martin. Since a number of studies have suggested that the 3D structure of the thymic microenvironment might play a key role in regulating the survival and functional competence of thymocytes, I’ve focused my effort on the isolation and purification of the extracellular matrix of the mouse thymus. Specifically, based on the assumption that TEC can favour the differentiation of pre-T lymphocytes, I’ve developed a specific decellularization protocol to obtain the intact, DNA-free extracellular matrix of the adult mouse thymus. Two different protocols satisfied the main characteristics of a decellularized matrix, according to qualitative and quantitative assays. In particular, the quantity of DNA was less than 10% in absolute value, no positive staining for cells was found and the 3D structure and composition of the ECM were maintained. In addition, I was able to prove that the decellularized matrixes were not cytotoxic for the cells themselves, and were able to increase expression of MHC II antigens compared to control cells grown in standard conditions. I was able to prove that TECs grow and proliferate up to ten days on top the decellularized matrix. After a complete characterization of the culture system, these innovative natural scaffolds could be used to improve the standard culture conditions of TEC, to study in vitro the action of different factors on their differentiation genes, and to test the ability of TECs to induce in vitro maturation of seeded T lymphocytes.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Strusi, Valentina
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze mediche e chirurgiche cliniche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Data di discussione
23 Gennaio 2014

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