From newborn to adult : phenotypic and functional properties of skin equivalent and human skin as a function of donor age

Authors: Michel, MartineL'Heureux, NicolasAuger, François A.Germain, Lucie
Abstract: The skin’s most important function is to act as a barrier against fluid loss, microorganism infections, and percutaneous absorption. To fulfill this role, keratinocytes proliferate and differentiate to produce a protective layer: the stratum corneum. Because stem cells are responsible for the production of differentiated progeny and stem cells (K19-expressing cells) are less abundant in skin from older donors, the purpose of this study was to establish whether histological and functional properties of differentiating skin is influenced by donor age. The in vitro model developed for the evaluation of skin properties (Michel et al., 1995) was used to produce skin equivalents from newborn, child, and adult keratinocytes. Throughout maturation, skin equivalents were compared with corresponding skin biopsies for keratin, filaggrin, and transglutaminase expression. Percutaneous absorptions of hydrocortisone also were measured and correlated with lipid content. After 1 wk of immersed culture, the epidermal layer of newborn skin equivalents was thicker than child and adult epidermis. As expected, a greater proportion of cutaneous stem cells was present in newborn compared with children and adult skin equivalents. No age-related difference was observed for differentiation markers. When skin equivalents were cultured at the air-liquid interface, cell differentiation and stratum corneum formation were induced, and the age-related variation in the thickness of the epidermal layer disappeared. Percutaneous absorption through these matured skin equivalents did not vary with age. Their lipid density and profile were similar. Accordingly, skin biopsies exhibited comparable percutaneous absorption profiles independently of donor age. In conclusion, although newborn skin equivalents, or skin biopsies, contained more stem cells than child and adult counterparts, no age-related histological difference was observed in the differentiated tissues. Moreover, the functional barrier property of skins and matured skin equivalents did not vary with age. Therefore, both newborn and adult keratinocytes produce useful in vitro models to study epidermal differentiation processes involved in both normal and pathological states.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 1 May 1997
Open Access Date: Restricted access
Document version: VoR
This document was published in: Journal of cellular physiology, Vol. 171 (2), 179-189 (1997)<179::AID-JCP8>3.0.CO;2-L
Alternative version: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-4652(199705)171:2<179::AID-JCP8>3.0.CO;2-L
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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