Korean J Otolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  1998 Aug;41(8):1008-1014.

Secretory Differentiation of Serially Passaged Normal Human Nasal Epithelial (NHNE) Cells

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. jhyoon@yumc.yonsei.ac.kr


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to subculture normal human nasal epithelial (NHNE)cells without compromising their ability to differentiate into secretory and ciliated cells and to study the effect of retinoic acid (RA)on mucous and serous secretions in each passaged cells. MATERIALS AND METHOD: Freshly isolated nasal epithelial cells from normal inferior turbinates were subcultured repeatedly in serum-free medium on plastic tissue culture dishes. The subcultured cells were tested after every passage for secretory differentiation in air-liquid interface (ALI) cultures. The apical secretion of cultured NHNE cells was characterized by immunoblotting and Western blotting.
Cultured NHNE cells secreted mucin and lysozyme. RA was essential for mucociliary and secretory differentiation. The epithelium became squamous and mucin secretion decreased when RA was deleted from the culture media. Cells from passage 1(P-1) through passage-2 (P-2) remained competent to differentiate into mucous and squamous cells when grown in air-liquid interface culture.
P-2 NHNE cell cultures retained many important features of normal epithelium and were suitable for conducting many studies of upper airway cell biology with an expanded cell pool.


Normal human nasal epithelial cells; Subculture; Mucin; Lysozyme; Retinoic acid
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