Chapter 12. Culture of Human Urothelium

  1. R. Ian Freshney and
  2. Mary G. Freshney
  1. Jennifer Southgate1,
  2. John R.W. Masters2 and
  3. Ludwik K. Trejdosiewicz3

Published Online: 28 APR 2002

DOI: 10.1002/0471221201.ch12

Culture of Epithelial Cells, Second Edition

Culture of Epithelial Cells, Second Edition

How to Cite

Southgate, J., Masters, J. R.W. and Trejdosiewicz, L. K. (2002) Culture of Human Urothelium, in Culture of Epithelial Cells, Second Edition (eds R. I. Freshney and M. G. Freshney), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, USA. doi: 10.1002/0471221201.ch12

Editor Information

  1. CRC Beatson Laboratories, Glasgow, Scotland

Author Information

  1. 1

    Jack Birch Unit of Molecular Carcinogenesis, Department of Biology University of York, York, UK

  2. 2

    Institute of Urology, University College, St. Paul's Hospital, 3rd Floor, 67 Riding House Street, London, UK

  3. 3

    ICRF Cancer Medicine Research Unit, St. James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 APR 2002
  2. Published Print: 12 APR 2002

Book Series:

  1. Culture of Specialized Cells

Book Series Editors:

  1. R. Ian Freshney

Series Editor Information

  1. CRC Beatson Laboratories, Glasgow, Scotland

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471401216

Online ISBN: 9780471221203



  • urothelium;
  • epithelial cell culture;
  • bladder;
  • collagenase;
  • serum-free medium;
  • Primaria;
  • Ki67;
  • E-cadherin;
  • integrins;
  • CD44;
  • cell adhesion;
  • differentiation;
  • paracrine control;
  • tissue engineering;
  • transplantation


The biology and methods for culturing urothelium are discussed and then a protocol, based on isolation, collagenase treatment and culture in serum-free medium on Primaria flasks, is provided. Subculture and cryopreservation are described followed by details of expression of urothelial differentiation antigens, cytokeratins, the proliferation marker Ki67 and cell adhesion molecules including E-cadherin, integrins and CD44 splice variants. Although stratification can be induced in the cultures, accompanied by upregulation of E-cadherin and integrin expression, complete differentiation is not achieved, although reseeding onto a urothelial stroma is beneficial, implying a role for paracrine control signals. The chapter concludes with a short review of some applications and future prospects, including the potential for tissue engineering.