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Green Tea Polyphenols Affect Skin Preservation in Rats and Improve the Rate of Skin Grafts

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Green tea polyphenols have been recently reported to promote the preservation of tissues, such as blood vessels, corneas, nerves, islet cells, articular cartilage, and myocardium, at room temperature. These findings indicate the possibility of a new method of tissue banking without freezing. A main active ingredient of green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), is a polyphenol that possesses antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiproliferative, and free radical scavenging effects. This study examined the effects of EGCG regarding skin preservation. Skin sample biopsy specimens measuring 1 × 1 cm from GFP rats were held in sterile containers with 50 ml preserving solution at 4°C and 37°C for up to about 8 weeks. Periodically, some of the preserved skin specimens were directly examined histologically and others were transplanted into nude mice. Histological examinations of skin preserved at 4°C revealed a degeneration of the epidermal and dermal layers from 5 weeks in all groups. In the groups preserved at 37°C, degeneration and flakiness of the epidermal layer were demonstrated starting at 2 weeks preservation regardless of addition of EGCG. After 2–7 weeks of preservation the rat skin grafted to nude mice in the EGCG groups stored at 4°C showed successful engraftment. However, grafts preserved at 4°C without EGCG and at 37°C did not demonstrate GFP-positive keratinocyte or fibroblasts. In conclusion, the present findings suggest the future clinical usefulness of EGCG for skin preservation without freezing; however, the mechanism by which EGCG promotes skin preservation still remains unclear.
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Keywords: Green tea polyphenol; Preservation; Skin; Skin grafts

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Postgraduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan 2: Institute for Frontier Medical Science, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan 3: Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Kaisei General Hospital, Kagawa, Japan

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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  • 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.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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