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Keywords:

  • cell microarrays;
  • germ cells;
  • Sertoli cells;
  • cell isolation;
  • cell surface markers

Abstract

Cell microarrays can serve as high-throughput platforms for the screening of a diverse range of biologically active factors and biomaterials that can induce desired cellular responses such as attachment, proliferation, or differentiation. Here, we demonstrate that surface-engineered microarrays can be used for the screening and identification of factors that allow the enrichment and isolation of rare cells from tissue-derived heterogeneous cell populations. In particular, we have focused on the enrichment of bovine testicular cells including type A spermatogonia and Sertoli cells. Microarray slides were coated with a copolymer synthesized from poly(ethylene glycol) methacrylate and glycidyl methacrylate to enable both the prevention of cell attachment between printed spots and the covalent anchoring of various factors such as antibodies, lectins, growth factors, extracellular matrix proteins, and synthetic macromolecules on printed spots. Microarrays were incubated with mixed cell populations from freshly isolated bovine testicular tissue. Overall, cell attachment was evaluated using CellTracker™ staining, whereas differential attachment of testicular cells was determined by immunohistochemistry staining with Plzf and vimentin antibodies as markers for type A spermatogonia and Sertoli cells, respectively. The results indicate that various surface immobilized factors, but in particular Dolichos biflorus lectin, allowed the enrichment of Plzf positive cells. Furthermore, Pisum sativum lectin, concanavalin A, collagen type IV, and vitronectin were identified as suitable negative selection factors. To our best knowledge, this work is the first to demonstrate the utility of surface engineered cell-based microarrays for the identification of factors that allow the selective capture of rare cells from tissue isolated heterogeneous mixtures. © 2010 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry