Author(s): Paquet C, Larouche D, Bisson F, Proulx S, SimardBisson C,
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Abstract Human beings are greatly preoccupied with the unavoidable nature of aging. While the biological processes of senescence and aging are the subjects of intense investigations, the molecular mechanisms linking aging with disease and death are yet to be elucidated. Tissue engineering offers new models to study the various processes associated with aging. Using keratin 19 as a stem cell marker, our studies have revealed that stem cells are preserved in human skin reconstructed by tissue engineering and that the number of epithelial stem cells varies according to the donor's age. As with skin, human corneas can also be engineered in vitro. Among the epithelial cells used for reconstructing skin and corneas, significant age-dependent variations in the expression of the transcription factor Sp1 were observed. Culturing skin epithelial cells with a feeder layer extended their life span in culture, likely by preventing Sp1 degradation in epithelial cells, therefore demonstrating the pivotal role played by this transcription factor in cell proliferation. Finally, using the human tissue-engineered skin as a model, we linked Hsp27 activation with skin differentiation.
This article was published in Ann N Y Acad Sci
and referenced in Journal of Bioengineering and Bioelectronics