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Open Access Human Cord Blood-Derived Unrestricted Somatic Stem Cells Promote Wound Healing and Have Therapeutic Potential for Patients With Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa

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Human umbilical cord blood (CB)-derived unrestricted somatic stem cells (USSCs) have previously been demonstrated to have a broad differentiation potential and regenerative beneficial effects when administered in animal models of multiple degenerative diseases. Here we demonstrated that USSCs could be induced to express genes that hallmark keratinocyte differentiation. We also demonstrated that USSCs express type VII collagen (C7), a protein that is absent or defective in patients with an inherited skin disease, recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB). In mice with full-thickness excisional wounds, a single intradermal injection of USSCs at a 1-cm distance to the wound edge resulted in significantly accelerated wound healing. USSC-treated wounds displayed a higher density of CD31+ cells, and the wounds healed with a significant increase in skin appendages. These beneficial effects were demonstrated without apparent differentiation of the injected USSCs into keratinocytes or endothelial cells. In vivo bioluminescent imaging (BLI) revealed specific migration of USSCs modified with a luciferase reporter gene, from a distant intradermal injection site to the wound, as well as following systemic injection of USSCs. These data suggest that CB-derived USSCs could significantly contribute to wound repair and be potentially used in cell therapy for patients with RDEB.

Keywords: Dermatology; Human stem cells; Skin; Stem cell transplantation; Stem cells; Transplantation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY, USA

Publication date: March 21, 2014

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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.

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