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Methods Cell Sci. 2001;23(4):189-96.

An improved method for culture of epidermal keratinocytes from newborn mouse skin.

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Laboratory of Periodontal Biology, Department of Oral Biological and Medical Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Reproducible isolation and long term culture of epidermal keratinocytes from transgenic mouse lines is critically needed but most techniques have been unsuccessful. In this report we describe in detail a simplified method to isolate putative keratinocyte stem cells from newborn mouse skin and to maintain them for long term in culture. The cell cultures were established by enzymatically separating keratinocytes from newborn mouse skin. For selecting the putative keratinocyte stem cells for culture, the cells are allowed to attach for 10 minutes on a composite matrix made of type I collagen and fibronectin. Unattached cells were discarded and the attached cells were cultured in a defined culture medium containing low Ca2+ concentration, 9% FBS, conditioned medium from newborn mouse skin fibroblasts, and EGF. For subculturing, the cells were seeded on tissue culture plastic. The isolated cells showed the typical basal keratinocyte morphology and expressed the epithelial cell specific integrin alpha v beta 6. The expression level of alpha v beta 6 integrin was comparable to human skin keratinocytes. The keratinocytes were also able to differentiate to form an epidermis in an organotypic culture model. By using the described protocol, the keratinocytes from frozen stocks have been subcultured up to 26 times without change in cell viability, proliferation rate or morphology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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