Characterization of Expression in Mice of a Transgene Containing 3.3 kb of the Human Lactase-Phlorizin Hydrolase (LPH) 5′ Flanking Sequence
We evaluated six commercially available tissue culture media in their capacity to support villi morphogenesis and enterocyte differentiation during duodenal development of the fetal mouse in vitro: McCoy's 5A, Medium 199, Swim's S77, Trowell T8, Leibovitz L-15, and RPMI-1640. The duodenal segments were resected at 15 d gestation, before the formation of intestinal villi. In the segments cultured with the first four media, no villi differentiated even at 72 h culture. The number of epithelial cells per transverse section of the explants did not increase at 24 h and thereafter the number of epithelial cells decreased, except with McCoy's 5A. With the Leibovitz and RPMI media, rudimentary villi differentiated at 24 h of culture and they attained their longest length at 48 h. With the RPMI medium, the number of epithelial cells doubled at 24 h of culture and with Leibovitz medium it doubled at 48 h. At the fine structural level absorptive cells remained poorly differentiated with all the media studied. Goblet cells were easily identified after 24 h culture; they had a well developed rough endoplasmic reticulum and numerous mucous granules. Endocrine cells differentiated in culture and they were loaded with secretion granules. It was concluded that the small intestine of the fetal mouse can be kept in organ culture for at least 72 h. Full maturation of absorptive cells seemed to require some additional factor(s) as they remained poorly differentiated with all the media studied. Because well differentiated endocrine cells were present in all the explants, it appeared that gastrointestinal hormones do not affect villi morphogenesis and absorptive cells differentiation.