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ASAIO J. 2004 May-Jun;50(3):261-6.

A neo-esophagus reconstructed by cultured human esophageal epithelial cells, smooth muscle cells, fibroblasts, and collagen.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


The scientists involved in this study attempted to develop an artificial esophagus constructed of autologous cells grown by cell culture methods on an extracellular matrix. An artificial esophagus consisting of human esophageal epithelial cells, dermal fibroblasts, and smooth muscle cells isolated from the aortic media, was attempted. The purpose of this study was to examine whether smooth muscle cells could be used in the transforming matrix. Human fibroblasts were embedded in Type I collagen superimposed on the collagen layer of smooth muscle cells. Next, human esophageal epithelial cells were cultured on the collagen layer of the fibroblasts. The resulting collagen sheets were cultured in vitro for 1 week, then transplanted on the latissimus dorsi muscles of athymic rats. The sheets were examined histologically at 1 and 2 weeks using hematoxylin eosin and immunologic stain methods (antiactin antibody). At the end of 2 weeks after transplantation, on microscopic observation of the collagen sheets, it appeared that the epithelial layer, the submucosal tissue layer, and the proper muscle layer had been reconstructed. Additionally, the authors successfully isolated smooth muscle cells from the media of the left gastric artery as a surgical specimen by explant cell culture. The ability to transform collagen sheets consisting of esophageal epithelial cells, fibroblasts, and smooth muscle cells from a surgical specimen into a luminal structure may enable clinical application of the artificial esophagus.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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