Are you getting FBS instead of BPE from your primary cultures?

New Zealand Bovine Pituitary (BPE) and Brain Extracts (BBE) now available!

Bovine Pituitary and Brain Extracts

Recent advances in cell biology have resulted in the ability to culture many non-fibroblast cell types which are crucial to understanding diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's and heart disease, to name a few, as well as in burn treatment. One of the key findings involved was that culture media containing serum were in fact often growth inhibitory to many cell types, especially those of epithelial origin, necessitating the use of alternative supplementation. Although we are now able to use many purified growth factors and hormones, most primary or stem cell culture systems still require some additional supplementation from crude tissue extracts such as bovine pituitary extract (BPE) for extended passaging and tissue specific phenotypic expression.

BPE continues to be the most successful of the tissue-sourced extracts to date and has allowed researchers to study normal, primary cell types including stem cells, in proliferating cultures. Additionally, because the BPE prep is such a highly concentrated source of putative mitogens and growth factors, it is effective at a fraction of the volume typically required when using serum, providing savings in both costs and potential purification time.

BBE provides similar benefits for the growth of mammalian, avian and human endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, keratinocytes, melanocytes and hybridomas. This prepartion from whole brain sourced in New Zealand is a cost effective alternative to ECGS as well as providing more population doublings and phenotypic expression in these cell types.

Both the BPE and BBE products are aqueous extracts. The BPE is formulated at 14 mg/ml crude protein. Growth tests on human mammary, prostatic, bronchial and corneal epithelial cells as well as epidermal keratinocytes and melanocytes indicate an optimal concentration range of 35 mg/ml for clonal growth and 70 mg/ml for dense monolayers (2.5/ L and 5 ml/ L respectively). If an optimized basal medium such as MCDB 170 or MCDB 154 is used, excellent clonal outgrowth can be achieved with as little as 7 mg/ml.

Our BBE is formulated to be used at 0.1-0.2% in the final serum-free medium (MCDB 131 is recommended for endothelial cells). Studies have shown this level to fully replace ECGS (from other vendors) at the standard 7.5-15 micrograms/ ml. In addition BBE allows culture of these cells without feeder layers.

Please note that an optimized serum-free medium with proper hormone and trace element supplementation is required to ensure the best results. Please note that because this is a complex mixture of factors, different cell types may require unique levels especially when using alternative basal media and supplements. A simple growth assay titrating the BPE or BBE in your system is the most effective way to determine the optimal level for your use. In addition, adjusting levels of these extracts relative to the other hormones and growth factors can be an effective means of turning on and off differentiated behavior in many cell types.