mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs)

Kyle Legate via methods%40net.bio.net (by legatek from hotmail.com)
Mon Mar 12 14:18:20 EST 2007


Tom Anderson wrote:
> 
> Okay, thanks. What about things like epithelia and peripheral neurons? Is
> there a contaminating population of these cells in amongst the
> fibroblasts, or do they dedifferentiate into fibroblasts, or die, or fail
> to proliferate or something?
> 
MEFs grow in a really simple media (DMEM and 10% FBS) whereas many other 
cell types have specific growth factor requirements which, if they don't 
get, they die. I've seen some neuron contamination the next day, but 
they don't survive a split. The day after a MEF prep it's common to see 
a larger number than usual of floating cells, which I assume is a 
combination of MEFs which didn't survive the manipulation, and 
non-fibroblasts. MEFs also secrete and assemble their own ECM very 
efficiently, so a contributing factor to the homogeneity of MEF preps is 
that other cell types, which rely on a preexisting ECM (at least in 
their primary state), fail to adhere to the plastic and enter anoikis 
pretty quickly. Macrophages will bind to anything but they don't survive 
a split either because once they're stuck to a surface you can never get 
them off!


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