Optimization of Co-Culture Conditions for a Human Vascularized Adipose Tissue Model
Cohen, Ronald N.
Brey, Eric M.
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In vitro adipose tissue models can be used to provide insight into fundamental aspects of adipose physiology. These systems may serve as replacements for animal models, which are often poor predictors of obesity and metabolic diseases in humans. Adipose tissue consists of a rich vasculature that is essential to its function. However, the study of endothelial cell–adipocyte interactions has been challenging due to differences in culture conditions required for the survival and function of each cell type. To address this issue, we performed an extensive evaluation of the cell culture media composition to identify the conditions optimal for the co-culture of endothelial cells and adipocytes. The effects of individual media factors on cell survival, proliferation, and differentiation were systematically explored. Several media factors were determined to disrupt the co-culture system. Optimized culture conditions were identified and used to generate a vascularized human adipose microtissue. An interconnected vascular network was established within an adipose micro-tissue, and the networks were anastomosed with perfused channels to form a functional network. In conclusion, media conditions were identified that enabled endothelial cell–adipocyte co-culture and were used to support the formation of a vascularized adipose tissue within a microfluidic device.