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ARS Home » Plains Area » Kerrville, Texas » Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory » Cattle Fever Tick Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #385468

Research Project: Integrated Pest Management of Cattle Fever Ticks

Location: Cattle Fever Tick Research Unit

Title: Three-dimensional culture of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus BmVIII-SCC cells on multiple synthetic scaffold systems and in rotating bioreactors

item SUDERMAN, MICHAEL - Cellsystems 3d Llc
item Temeyer, Kevin
item Schlechte, Kristie
item Perez De Leon, Adalberto - Beto

Submitted to: Insects
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/14/2021
Publication Date: 8/19/2021
Citation: Suderman, M.T., Temeyer, K.B., Schlechte, K.G., Perez De Leon, A.A. 2021. Three-dimensional culture of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus BmVIII-SCC cells on multiple synthetic scaffold systems and in rotating bioreactors. Insects. 12. Article 747.

Interpretive Summary: Ticks feed on blood and also transmit microbes that cause disease in their hosts that include humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. Tick cells grown, or cultured, in the laboratory are tools used in research to better understand tick biology and to develop tick control methods. This research adapted three-dimensional (3-D) tissue culture technology for cells derived from the southern cattle fever tick, which transmit the microbes causing bovine babesiosis, or cattle tick fever, that remains a threat to the U.S. livestock industry. The experimental results showed that cells in 3-D culture shifted their shape and aggregated to look more like cells in tissues or organs. These findings suggest that 3-D culture could be applied to increase understanding of tick biology and accelerate research and development of technologies to manage cattle fever ticks.

Technical Abstract: Tick cell culture facilitates research on the biology of ticks and their role as vectors of pathogens that affect humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. Because two-dimensional cell culture doesn’t promote the development of multicellular tissue-like composites, we hypothesized that culturing tick cells in a three-dimensional (3-D) configuration would result in the formation of spheroids or tissue-like organoids. In this study, the cell line BmVIII-SCC obtained from the cattle fever tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Canestrini, 1888), was cultured in different synthetic scaffold systems. Growth of the tick cells on macrogelatinous beads in rotating continuous culture system bioreactors enabled cellular attachment, organization, and development into spheroid-like aggregates, with evidence of tight cellular junctions between adjacent cells and secretion of an extracellular matrix. At least three cell morphologies were identified within the aggregates: fibroblast-like cells, small endothelial-like cells, and larger cells exhibiting multiple cytoplasmic endosomes and granular vesicles. These observations suggest that BmVIII-SCC cells adapted to 3-D culture retain pluripotency. Additional studies involving genomic analyses are needed to determine if BmVIII-SCC cells in 3-D culture mimic tick organs. Applications of 3-D culture to cattle fever tick research are discussed.