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Culture of Keratinocytes for Transplantation Without the Need of Feeder Layer Cells

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Abstract:

Patients with large burn wounds have a limited amount of healthy donor skin. An alternative for the autologous skin graft is transplantation with autologous keratinocytes. Conventionally, the keratinocytes are cultured with mouse feeder layer cells in medium containing fetal calf serum (FCS) to obtain sufficient numbers of cells. These xenobiotic materials can be a potential risk for the patient. The aim of the present study was to investigate if keratinocytes could be expanded in culture without the need of a feeder layer and FCS. Keratinocytes were cultured on tissue culture plastic with or without collagen type IV coating in medium containing Ultroser G (serum substitute) and keratinocyte growth factor (KGF). An in vitro skin equivalent model was used to examine the capacity of these cells to form an epidermis. Keratinocytes in different passages (P2, P4, and P6) and freshly isolated cells were studied. Keratinocytes grown on collagen type IV were able to form an epidermis at higher passage numbers than cells grown in the absence of collagen type IV (P4 and P2, respectively). In both cases the reconstructed epidermis showed an increased expression of Ki-67, SKALP, involucrin, and keratin 17 compared to normal skin. Only 50,000 keratinocytes grown on collagen type IV in P4 were needed to form 1 cm2 epidermis, whereas 150,000 of freshly isolated keratinocytes were necessary. Using this culture technique sufficient numbers of keratinocytes, isolated from 1 cm2 skin, were obtained to cover 400 cm2 of wound surface in 2 weeks. The results show that keratinocytes can be cultured without the need of a fibroblast feeder layer and FCS and that these cells are still able to create a fully differentiated epidermis. This culture technique can be a valuable tool for the treatment of burn wounds and further development of tissue engineered skin.

Keywords: Burn wounds; Collagen type IV; Culture; Epidermis; Skin equivalents

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/000000007783465046

Affiliations: 1: Association of Dutch Burns Centres, 1940 EA Beverwijk, The Netherlands 2: Department of Dermatology, VU University Medical Centre, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands 3: Association of Dutch Burns Centres, 1940 EA Beverwijk, The Netherlands, Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand Surgery, VU University Medical Centre, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands 4: *Association of Dutch Burns Centres, 1940 EA Beverwijk, The Netherlands, †Department of Dermatology, VU University Medical Centre, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: June 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
cog/ct/2007/00000016/00000006/art00009
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