Macromolecular Crowding as a Tool to Screen Anti-fibrotic Drugs: The Scar-in-a-Jar System Revisited

Nataly Puerta Cavanzo, Emilia Bigaeva, Miriam Boersema, Peter Olinga, Ruud A. Bank*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

7 Citaten (Scopus)
63 Downloads (Pure)


An unsolved therapeutic problem in fibrosis is the overproduction of collagen. In order to screen the effect of anti-fibrotic drugs on collagen deposition, the Scar-in-a-Jar approach has been introduced about a decade ago. With macromolecular crowding a rapid deposition of collagen is seen, resulting in a substantial decrease in culture time, but the system has never been tested in an adequate way. We therefore have compared six different macromolecular crowders [Ficoll PM 70 (Fc70), Ficoll PM 400 (Fc400), a mixture of Ficoll 70 and 400 (Fc70/400), polyvinylpyrrolidone 40 (PVP40), polyvinylpyrrolidone 360 (PVP360), neutral dextran 670 (ND670), dextran sulfate 500 (DxS500), and carrageenan (CR)] under profibrotic conditions (addition of TGFβ1) with primary human adult dermal fibroblasts in the presence of 0.5 and 10% FBS. We found that (1) collagen deposition and myofibroblast formation was superior with 0.5% FBS, (2) DxS500 and CR results in an aberrant collagen deposition pattern, (3) ND670 does not increase collagen deposition, and (4) CR, DxS500, and Fc40/700 affected important phenotypical properties of the cells when cultured under pro-fibrotic conditions, whereas PVP40 and PVP360 did less or not. Because of viscosity problems with PVP360, we conclude that PVP40 is the most optimal crowder for the screening of anti-fibrotic drugs. Finally, the effect of various concentrations of Imatinib, Galunisertib, Omipalisib or Nintedanib on collagen deposition and myofibroblast formation was tested with PVP40 as the crowder.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's14
TijdschriftFrontiers in Medicine
StatusPublished - 14-jan.-2021

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