Video_1_An immunoresponsive three-dimensional urine-tolerant human urothelial model to study urinary tract infection.mp4
Murine models of urinary tract infection (UTI) have improved our understanding of host-pathogen interactions. However, given differences between rodent and human bladders which may modulate host and bacterial response, including certain biomarkers, urothelial thickness and the concentration of urine, the development of new human-based models is important to complement mouse studies and to provide a more complete picture of UTI in patients.Methods
We originally developed a human urothelial three-dimensional (3D) model which was urine tolerant and demonstrated several urothelial biomarkers, but it only achieved human thickness in heterogenous, multi-layered zones and did not demonstrate the comprehensive differentiation status needed to achieve barrier function. We optimised this model by altering a variety of conditions and validated it with microscopy, flow cytometry, transepithelial electrical resistance and FITC-dextran permeability assays to confirm tissue architecture, barrier integrity and response to bacterial infection.Results
We achieved an improved 3D urine-tolerant human urothelial model (3D-UHU), which after 18-20 days of growth, stratified uniformly to 7-8 layers comprised of the three expected, distinct human cell types. The apical surface differentiated into large, CD227+ umbrella-like cells expressing uroplakin-1A, II, III, and cytokeratin 20, all of which are important terminal differentiation markers, and a glycosaminoglycan layer. Below this layer, several layers of intermediate cells were present, with a single underlying layer of CD271+ basal cells. The apical surface also expressed E-cadherin, ZO-1, claudin-1 and -3, and the model possessed good barrier function. Infection with both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial classes elicited elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines characteristic of urinary tract infection in humans and caused a decrease in barrier function.Discussion
Taken together, 3D-UHU holds promise for studying host-pathogen interactions and host urothelial immune response.