In Vitro High-Content Imaging-Based Phenotypic Analysis of Bronchial 3D Organotypic Air–Liquid Interface Cultures


Authored by  D Marescotti, D Bovard, M Morelli, A Sandoz, K Luettich, S Frentzel, M Peitsch, J Hoeng

Published in SLAS TECHNOLOGY: Translating Life Sciences Innovation    

Abstract

High-content imaging (HCI) is a powerful method for quantifying biological effects in vitro. Historically, HCI has been applied to adherent cells growing in monolayers. With the advent of confocal versions of HCI devices, researchers now have the option of performing analyses on 3D cell cultures. However, some obstacles remain in integrating the third dimension, such as limited light penetration and less sophisticated image analysis.

Here, we report the development of an HCI technique for imaging human bronchial 3D organotypic air–liquid interface (ALI) cultures (hBR-ALI).

In this method, we monitored differentiation status through HCI evaluation markers representative of ciliated epithelial cells and goblet cells (Muc5AC [mucin 5AC]). As a second use case for demonstrating the utility of this technique, we induced goblet cell hyperplasia in hBR-ALI by using interleukin (IL)-13.

Our results demonstrate the utility of the HCI technique for imaging hBR-ALI grown on Transwell inserts. This technique may be expanded to other cell culture systems, such as skin epithelia and 3D intestinal systems.