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Ebselen Preserves Tissue-Engineered Cell Sheets and their Stem Cells in Hypothermic Conditions

Katori, R;Hayashi, R;Kobayashi, Y;Kobayashi, E;Nishida, K;

Clinical trials have been performed using autologous tissue-engineered epithelial cell sheets for corneal regenerative medicine. To improve stem cell-based therapy for convenient clinical practice, new techniques are required for preserving reconstructed tissues and their stem/progenitor cells until they are ready for use. In the present study, we screened potential preservative agents and developed a novel medium for preserving the cell sheets and their stem/progenitor cells; the effects were evaluated with a luciferase-based viability assay. Nrf2 activators, specifically ebselen, could maintain high ATP levels during preservation. Ebselen also showed a strong influence on maintenance of the viability, morphology, and stem cell function of the cell sheets preserved under hypothermia by protecting them from reactive oxygen species-induced damage. Furthermore, ebselen drastically improved the preservation performance of human cornea tissues and their stem cells. Therefore, ebselen shows good potential as a useful preservation agent in regenerative medicine as well as in cornea transplantation.