Original Research


, Volume 63, Issue 4, pp 415-423

Optimizing culture conditions of a porcine epithelial cell line IPEC-J2 through a histological and physiological characterization

  • Marisa M. GeensAffiliated withDivision of Livestock-Nutrition-Quality, Department of Biosystems, K.U. Leuven Email author 
  • , Theo A. NiewoldAffiliated withDivision of Livestock-Nutrition-Quality, Department of Biosystems, K.U. Leuven

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The high similarity between pigs and humans makes pigs a good gastrointestinal (GI) model for humans. Recently an epithelial cell line originating from the jejunum of pig (IPEC-J2) became available. Once validated, this model can be used to investigate the complex interactions occurring in the intestine. The advantages of using IPEC-J2 as in vitro model of the GI tract are the high resemblance between humans and pigs, and the ease of extrapolating in vitro to in vivo characteristics. In this study, the IPEC-J2 cells were functionally characterized by measuring the trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER), and by histological and ultrastructural studies. IPEC-J2 cells grown on six different permeable support systems, were investigated. The Transwell®-COL collagen-coated membrane (1.12 cm2) showed the best results concerning time efficiency and TEER values. The optimum seeding density of 12 × 105 cells/mL ensured that after 9 days of differentiation a confluent monolayer was formed. The decrease in TEER values after a maximum had been reached, coincided with the ultrastructural development of apical microvilli. We conclude that IPEC-J2 cells grown on collagen-coated membranes represent a valuable in vitro model system for the small intestinal epithelium which can be of great interest for intestinal research.


Pig IPEC-J2 Boyden chamber Model system