The purpose of the current study was to compare the effects of drying and fresh-freezing on human amniotic membrane (HAM) and amnion/chorion membrane (HACM) in terms of histological and structural characteristics and cytokine levels. HAM and HACM samples, obtained from six placentae, were investigated. HAM and HACM were dried, electron beam-irradiated (dehydration group; d-HAM/d-HACM), or fresh-frozen (freezing group; f-HAM/f-HACM). Luminex assay was used to assay the levels of 15 cytokines. The ultrastructural characteristics of HAM and HACM were evaluated using light and transmission electron microscopies. Total cytokine contents did not show the statistical difference between dehydration and fresh-freezing process. Significantly higher levels of total cytokines were observed in HACM than in HAM. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) level was significantly higher in d-HAM than in the other samples. The levels of most of the other growth factors were higher in HACM than in HAM, but there was no statistical difference between the dehydration process and the fresh-freezing process. The levels of the cytokines, other than the growth factors, were higher in HACM than in HAM, and higher concentrations of cytokines were observed in the freezing group than in the dehydration group. Histological examination revealed that the dehydration group had thinner tissues than the freezing group, but the structural stability, including the basement membrane, did not differ between the two groups. Microscopic structures such as microvilli and nuclei were well-preserved in the freezing group, based on the results of the transmission electron microscopy. Our dehydration process maintained the histological structure of HAM/HACM and a variety of growth factors and cytokines were identified. Especially, the HAM, processed with the dehydration method, had a higher EGF level than that processed with the fresh-freezing method. Therefore, dehydration method can be used to effectively promote wound repair.
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We thank all the patients, their families, the investigators, and the medical staff.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong [2017-05-018].
Informed consent was obtained from all human tissue donors.
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Kim, T.G., Do Ki, K., Lee, MK. et al. Comparison of cytokine expression and ultrastructural alterations in fresh-frozen and dried electron beam-irradiated human amniotic membrane and chorion. Cell Tissue Bank 20, 163–172 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10561-019-09748-9
- Amniotic membrane
- Growth factor