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J Invest Dermatol. 2009 Jun;129(6):1569-81. doi: 10.1038/jid.2008.405. Epub 2009 Jan 1.

Chemokine-mediated migration of skin-derived stem cells: predominant role for CCL5/RANTES.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, VU Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The ability of stem cells to self-renew as well as their multilineage differentiation potential makes them ideal candidates for skin regeneration strategies. Mesenchymal stem cells residing in human adult dermis, in contrast to adipose tissue, have not yet been described. The objective of this study was to determine the stemness and chemokine-mediated homing potential of dermal stromal cells (DSC) and to compare this with adipose stem cells (ASC). DSC have a less stellate form than ASC, confirming that DSC and ASC are two different types of mesenchymal cell populations. However, DSC display a mesenchymal stem cell phenotype (CD31(-), CD34(+), CD45(-), CD54(+), CD90(+), CD105(+), and CD166(+) similar to ASC and are also multipotent in their ability to differentiate into adipocytes, chondrocytes, and osteoblasts. Both ASC and DSC display a similar set of chemokine receptors (CCR3, CCR4, CCR6, CCR10, CXCR1, and CXCR2). Several ligands for these receptors, with CCL5/RANTES being the most potent, can induce migration of ASC and DSC in an in vitro wound-healing assay. Taken together, these results show that a population of mesenchymal stem cells resides in the dermis of human adult skin and these dermal-derived stem cells have a phenotypic and chemokine-mediated homing potential similar to adipose stem cells, which to our knowledge is previously unreported.

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