Dissociation, quantification and culture of normal human merkel cells among epidermal cell populations derived from glabrous and hairy skin sites

Authors: Fradette, JulieLarouche, DanielleFugère, ClaudiaGuignard, RinaBeauparlant, AnnieCouture, Véronique; Caouette-Laberge, Louise; Roy, Alphonse; Germain, Lucie
Abstract: Merkel cells constitute a unique population that remains difficult to characterize in human skin because of their scarcity. Our aim was to develop tools for the study of Merkel cells in vitro. As a first step, we evaluated the possibility of harvesting human Merkel cells with the two-step extraction method that is widely used to extract and culture keratinocytes. Merkel cells were identified in the epithelial portion of hairy or glabrous skin biopsies by keratin (K)18 and K20 labeling. The totality of cutaneous epithelial cells were isolated from either hairy or glabrous skin biopsies following enzymatic dissociation of both the epidermis and the hair follicles. Flow cytometry was performed to quantify the small Merkel cell population. The analysis revealed that K18-labeled cells represented between 4.0 and 7.6% of freshly dissociated basal epidermal cells. No significant differences were seen between samples derived from glabrous palmar and hairy anatomic sites from children and adults, respectively. We also reported on the presence of Merkel cells in primary and first subcultures of human epidermal cells. The next step will be to enrich the isolated human Merkel cells and improve their culture conditions. An amplification of the number of Merkel cells will allow further studies to unravel long-standing questions regarding their origin, proliferative capacity, and functions in cutaneous biology
Document Type: Chapitre d'ouvrage
Issue Date: 23 June 2003
Open Access Date: Restricted access
Document version: VoR
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/16763
This document was published in: Merkel cell : structure-development-function- cancerogenesis
Alternative version: 10.1007/978-3-662-10358-6_17
Collection:Chapitres de livre

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