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Wound Repair Regen. 2009 May-Jun;17(3):427-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-475X.2009.00474.x.

Regeneration of functional sweat gland-like structures by transplanted differentiated bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells.

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Burns Institute, The First Affiliated Hospital, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Trauma Center of Postgraduate Medical College, Beijing 10048, China.


Regeneration of sweat glands after deep burns has been an unsolved problem. Owing to lack of perspiration, survivors of an extensive deep burn injury are leading a miserable life in sultry months. It was our contemplation to solve this problem by inducing bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to acquire the phenotype of sweat gland cells in vitro. Then these cells were transplanted into fresh skin wounds resulting from excision of anhydrotic scars after healing of deep burn injury in five patients. Two to 12 months after the procedure, it was proved that there was recovery of perspiration function in all the MSCs' transplanted areas, as evidenced by positive iodine-starch perspiration test. Histological and biochemical observation confirmed the involvement of MSCs transformed sweat gland cells in the recovery of functional sweat glands, and the components of sweat collected from these areas were similar to that collected from normal skin. This is the first report of successful transplantation of MSCs in regenerating functional sweat glands, which may help solve the problem of depletion of sweat glands in patients surviving extensive deep burns in the future.

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