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Stem cells in human oral epithelium

By Catrin Eleri Owen-Jones


The stratifying epithelia of skin and mucosa continuously renew their structure by cell division, but only a small fraction of proliferative cells, the stem cells, are capable of continuous self-renewal. The staining distribution of various stem cell and differentiation markers were investigated in normal human mucosal epithelium. To determine the extent of regional variation in patterns of stem cell behaviour in human epithelia, human mucosal keratinocytes were amplified in vitro. Using retroviral vectors, a sub-population of these cells were transduced with genes for histochemically detectable markers to permit lineage analyses. Organotypic culture methods were used to generate epithelia with normal patterns of cell kinetics and differentiation and these were examined after maintenance in vitro or after transplantation back to in vivo sites in immune deficient mice. The clonal lineages resulting from stem cell patterns were compared and the number of functional stem cells were assessed from the size of stable clonal units regenerated. The cell cycles of keratinocytes grown on plastic compared to organotypic culture were also investigated by flow cytometry to see if the organotypic cultures provided a suitable stem cell model. Results included the following. Antibody staining in palate revealed that K15 and K19 identified zones of positively stained basal cells at the epithelial rete tips. These K15 and K19 positive regions were negative for differentiation markers K6 and K16, indicating that cells in these regions were undifferentiated and could include stem cells Organotypic cultures gave similar staining profiles to palate, and using retrovirally stained subpopulations of cells and transplantation to SCID mice, clonal units were identified which did not correspond to the primitive rete that had reformed. Flow cytometry work showed that the cell cycles of cells grown in vitro on plastic were faster than the cell cycles of organotypic cultures

Topics: RK Dentistry
Year: 2004
OAI identifier: oai:
Provided by: ORCA
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