Applying neural stem cells (NSC) as a cell therapy has created new hope for the treatment of various neural degenerative diseases as well as the reversal of neural damage once thought to be irreparable. As new potential applications emerge and new clinical trials begin, the need for scalable and safe sources of the foundational cell culture materials becomes essential to the future of this technology. The yield and reproducibility of NSC expansion is improved when appropriate signaling molecules are introduced to the culture medium. For example, the cytokine known as Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) has been shown to activate the LIF receptor on the surface of NSC, thereby enhancing the cells’ capacity for self-renewal. LIF is therefore considered a powerful tool for improving expansion of NSC in vitro.
Currently, recombinant human (rhLIF) for cell-culture applications is predominantly biomanufactured using E. coli as the host organism. While this protein-expression system has helped advance NSC technology, concerns exist about the safety and unintended effects of contamination from trace levels of bacterial endotoxin. InVitria has improved both the scale and quality of rhLIF by biomanufacturing the cytokine in a eukaryotic but completely animal-free and non-mammalian host. The goal of this application note is to provide step-by-step instructions for using InVitria’s recombinant hLIF in the efficient, safe, and scalable expansion of NSC in culture.
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