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Open Access Light Microscopic, Electron Microscopic, and Immunohistochemical Comparison of Bama Minipig (Sus scrofa domestica) and Human Skin

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Here we sought to evaluate the possibility of using Chinese Bama miniature pig skin as a suitable animal model for human skin. Morphologic features of the skin of Bama miniature pigs resemble those of human skin, including skin layer thickness, development of a superficial vascular system, structure of the dermal–epidermal interface, and extracellular matrix. The characteristics and densities of Langerhans cells, fibroblasts, vascular endothelial cells, and mast cells were similar between Bama pig and human skin. Immunohistochemistry showed that miniature pigs and humans have the same antigenic determinants of human laminin, fibronectin, filaggrin, collagen I, collagen III, collagen IV, and keratin but not CD34, ICAM1, or S100. In addition, collagen type I from Bama miniature pig skin exhibited physicochemical characteristics resembling those of human skin, in regard to HPLC chromatography, UV spectroscopy, amino-acid composition, and SDS-PAGE analysis. Given these results, we concluded that Bama miniature pigs have great potential as a human skin model and for developing dermal substitute materials in wound repair. However, we also observed some disparities between the skin of Bama miniature pigs and humans, including pigment cell distribution, sweat gland types, and others. Therefore, further studies are needed to completely evaluate the effects of these interspecies differences on the actual application of the model.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Laboratory Animal Science, College of Basic Medicine, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China 2: Department of Pathology, 324 Hospital of People's Liberation Army, Chongqing, China 3: Institute of Burn Research, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China

Publication date: 2010-04-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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