In Vitro Culture of Epithelial Cells from Different Anatomical Regions of the Human Amniotic Membrane

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Several protocols have been reported in the literature for the isolation and culture of human amniotic epithelial cells (HAEC). However, these assume that the amniotic epithelium is a homogeneous layer. The human amnion can be divided into three anatomical regions: reflected, placental, and umbilical. Each region has different physiological roles, such as in pathological conditions. Here, we describe a protocol to dissect human amnion tissue in three sections and maintain it in vitro. In culture, cells derived from the reflected amnion displayed a cuboidal morphology, while cells from both placental and umbilical regions were squamous. Nonetheless, all the cells obtained have an epithelial phenotype, demonstrated by the immunodetection of E-cadherin. Thus, because the placental and reflected regions in situ differ in cellular components and molecular functions, it may be necessary for in vitro studies to consider these differences, because they could have physiological implications for the use of HAEC in biomedical research and the promising application of these cells in regenerative medicine.