Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Dermatol. 2010 Feb 1;162(2):380-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2009.09512.x. Epub 2009 Sep 22.

Phenotypic indications that human sweat glands are a rich source of nestin-positive stem cell populations.

Author information

Fraunhofer Institute of Marine Biotechnology, Paul-Ehrlich-Strasse 1-3, L├╝beck 23562, Germany.



We have recently shown that the expression of nestin, a progenitor/stem cell marker protein, is localized in different mesenchymal compartments in human skin including the sweat gland stroma.


As other exocrine glands are recognized sources of multipotent stem cell populations with potential for multilineage differentiation, it was our aim to isolate, expand and characterize glandular stem cells from human sweat glands.


Isolation of human sweat glands was based on mechanical and enzymatic digestion of axillary skin. Cultivation was performed on collagen-coated cell culture dishes and the resulting cell population was investigated at the protein and mRNA level.


Outgrowing cells of isolated sweat glands showed a high-proliferation activity and were characterized by nestin expression in more than 80% of the cells. These sweat gland stem cells could be maintained in culture for long periods of time and showed spontaneous differentiation into cells representative of the different germ layers.


This pilot study provides the first, simple protocol for the isolation of adult human nestin-positive stem cells from the sweat gland mesenchyme, which promises to provide an easily accessible and abundantly available, autologous source of multipotent stem cells for cell-based regenerative medicine applications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center