Skin grafts can be preserved by cryopreservation and refrigerated storage at 4°C. Epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG) enhances the viability of stored skin grafts and also extends the storage time up to 7 weeks at 4°C. EGCG, the major polyphenolic constituent present
in green tea, has potent antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiproliferative, and free radical scavenging effects. This study examined the effects of EGCG on skin cryopreservation. Skin sample biopsy specimens from GFP rats were previously treated with/without EGCG then moved to −196°C.
Skin samples were transplanted to nude mice after 2, 8, and 24 weeks of preservation. Glucose consumption was measured after thawing to assess the metabolic activity. Two weeks later the transplanted skin grafts were excised and histologically analyzed. Histological examinations revealed the
degeneration of the epidermal and dermal layers in all groups. In the EGCG groups, the grafts showed higher integrity in the epidermal layer and dermal matrix. The present findings suggest the future clinical usefulness of EGCG for skin preservation; however, the mechanism by which EGCG promotes
skin preservation still remains unclear.
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