Optimization of a transplant model to assess skin reconstitution from stem cell-enriched primary human keratinocyte populations Academic Article uri icon


  • Given that an important functional attribute of stem cells in vivo is their ability to sustain tissue regeneration, we set out to establish a simple and easy technique to assess this property from candidate populations of human keratinocyte stem cells in an in vivo setting. Keratinocytes were inoculated into devitalized rat tracheas and transplanted subcutaneously into SCID mice, and the epithelial lining regenerated characterized to establish the validity of this heterotypic model. Furthermore, the rate and quality of epidermal tissue reconstitution obtained from freshly isolated unfractionated vs. keratinocyte stem cell-enriched populations was tested as a function of (a) cell numbers inoculated; and (b) the inclusion of irradiated support keratinocytes and dermal cells. Rapid and sustained epidermal tissue regeneration from small numbers of freshly isolated human keratinocyte stem cells validates the utilization of this simple and reliable model system to assay for enrichment of epidermal tissue-reconstituting cells.

publication date

  • January 2005

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