Human Dupuytren’s ex vivo culture for the study of myofibroblasts and extracellular matrix interactions

Sofia Karkampouna, Peter Kloen, Miryam C. Obdeijn, Scott M. Riester, Andre J. Van Wijnen, Marianna Kruithof-De Julio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Organ fibrosis or “scarring” is known to account for a high death toll due to the extensive amount of disorders and organs affected (from cirrhosis to cardiovascular diseases). There is no effective treatment and the in vitro tools available do not mimic the in vivo situation rendering the progress of the out of control wound healing process still enigmatic. To date, 2D and 3D cultures of fibroblasts derived from DD patients are the main experimental models available. Primary cell cultures have many limitations; the fibroblasts derived from DD are altered by the culture conditions, lack cellular context and interactions, which are crucial for the development of fibrosis and weakly represent the derived tissue. Real-time PCR analysis of fibroblasts derived from control and DD samples show that little difference is detectable. 3D cultures of fibroblasts include addition of extracellular matrix that alters the native conditions of these cells. As a way to characterize the fibrotic, proliferative properties of these resection specimens we have developed a 3D culture system, using intact human resections of the nodule part of the cord. The system is based on transwell plates with an attached nitrocellulose membrane that allows contact of the tissue with the medium but not with the plastic, thus, preventing the alteration of the tissue. No collagen gel or other extracellular matrix protein substrate is required. The tissue resection specimens maintain their viability and proliferative properties for 7 days. This is the first “organ” culture system that allows human resection specimens from DD patients to be grown ex vivo and functionally tested, recapitulating the in vivo situation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere52534
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number98
StatePublished - Apr 18 2015


  • 3D culture system
  • Compound screen
  • Dupuytren's disease
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Fibrosis
  • Issue 98
  • Medicine
  • TGFβ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Human Dupuytren’s ex vivo culture for the study of myofibroblasts and extracellular matrix interactions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this