, Volume 63, Issue 4, pp 415–423 | Cite as

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

  • Marisa M. GeensEmail author
  • Theo A. Niewold
Original Research


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 



We would like to thank Prof. Johan Billen, Lien Moors, and An Vandoren for their skilled technical advice and assistance in the morphological study. This study was supported by the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek—Vlaanderen—Belgium), grant G026307N.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Livestock-Nutrition-Quality, Department of BiosystemsK.U. LeuvenHeverleeBelgium

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