Author(s): Black AF, Bouez C, Perrier E, Schlotmann K, Chapuis F,
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Abstract Skin equivalents (SEs) have been designed to meet both basic and applied research needs. The successful application of tissue-engineered SEs requires that the reconstituted tissues be endowed with the correct organization and function. A large body of experimental evidence now supports the notion that the inducing effects of mesenchymal tissue on epithelial cell morphogenesis are mediated, at least in part, by extracellular matrix components in addition to cell-cell interactions. A coculture model including both fibroblasts and keratinocytes was used to study the effects of progressive serum reduction on epidermal differentiation, quality of dermal and dermal-epidermal junctions, and expression of extracellular matrix proteins. The cells were successively added to a dermal substrate composed of collagen, glycosaminoglycans, and chitosan. The main aim of this study was to optimize this model for pharmacotoxicological trials. Control skin equivalents were cultured with medium containing 10\% serum throughout the production process. Serum content was reduced to 1 and 0\% at the air-liquid interface and compared with control skin equivalents. First, we demonstrated that serum deprivation at the air-liquid interface improves keratinocyte terminal differentiation. Second, we showed that, in the absence of serum, the specific characteristics of the SE are maintained, including epidermal and dermal ultrastructure, the expression of major dermal extracellular matrix components (human collagen types I, III, and V, fibronectin, elastin, and fibrillin 1), and the dermal-epidermal junction (laminin, human type IV collagen, alpha6 integrin). Furthermore, our results indicate that coculture models using keratinocytes and fibroblasts have both morphological and functional properties required for biologically useful tissues.
This article was published in Tissue Eng
and referenced in Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering