Iterative Three-Dimensional Epidermis Bioengineering and Xenografting to Assess Long-Term Regenerative Potential in Human Keratinocyte Precursor Cells
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The functional definition of somatic adult stem cells is based on their regenerative capacity, which allows tissue regeneration throughout life. Thus, refining methodologies to characterize this capacity is of great importance for progress in the fundamental knowledge of specific keratinocyte subpopulations but also for preclinical and clinical research, considering the high potential of keratinocytes in cell therapy. We present here a methodology which we define as iterative xenografting, which originates in the classical model of human skin substitute xenografts onto immunodeficient recipient mice. The principle of this functional assay is first to perform primary xenografts to assess graft take and the quality of epidermal differentiation. Then, human keratinocytes are extracted from primary graft samples to perform secondary xenografts, to assess the presence and preservation of functional keratinocyte stem cells with long-term regenerative potential. In the example of experiments shown, iterative skin xenografting was used to document the high regenerative potential of epidermal holoclone keratinocytes.
KeywordsEpidermis Epidermis reconstruction Keratinocyte Regeneration Stem cell Xenograft
We wish to thank S. Bouet and A. Boukadiri (histology platform, UMR 1313 GABI, INRA/CEA, Jouy en Josas). We thank J.-J. Lataillade and M. Trouillas (IRBA, INSERM U1197, Clamart) for helpful discussions on skin substitute bioengineering. This work was supported by grants from CEA and INSERM (UMR967), the Délégation Générale de l’Armement (DGA), and the “Les Gueules Cassées” foundation.
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