Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Dermatol Sci. 1997 Nov;16(1):52-8.

Phenotype and proliferation characteristics of cultured spindle-shaped cells obtained from normal human skin and lesions of dermatofibroma, Kaposi's sarcoma, and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans: a comparison with fibroblast and endothelial cells of the dermis.

Author information

Department of Pathology Loyola University School of Medicine, Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Maywood, IL 60153-5385, USA.


Normal human dermis contains mesenchymal cells that are generally referred to as fibroblasts. However the relationships between fibroblasts and endothelial cells with respect to the types of spindle-shaped cells that are present in cultures obtained from tumor bearing-skin is unclear. To explore the potential heterogeneity amongst dermal-derived cells that grow in culture with a spindle-shaped morphology, we compared the immunophenotype and growth characteristics of several types of cells. Besides dermal fibroblasts and microvascular endothelial cells derived from normal adult skin, we also studied large vessel-derived endothelial cells, and spindle-shaped cells derived from three different tumor-bearing dermal-based neoplasms. Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), dermatofibroma (DF), and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP). A broad panel of eight different antibodies were used to immunophenotype the multi-passaged cultured cells. Spindle-shaped cells from all three neoplasms could be distinguished from the normal skin derived fibroblasts by their constitutive expression of factor XIIIa, and the gamma-interferon induced expression of VCAM-1. All seven types of cultured cells stained positive for s-actin and proline-4-hydroxylase, and none of the cells expressed CD34. Both large and small-vessel derived endothelial cells expressed factor VIII, ELAM-1, and VCAM-1. Using two different types of growth media, significant differences were also observed amongst these cultured cell types. Spindle-shaped cells from DFSP did not grow in DMEM containing 10% fetal bovine serum (DMEM-FBS); but they proliferated in KS cell growth medium (KSGM). Spindle-shaped cells from DF grew best in KSGM, but not in DMEM-FBS. KS tumor cells grew well in KSGM, but not in DMEM-FBS. Fibroblasts proliferated in DMEM-FBS, but failed to grow in KSGM; and even when pre-treated with conditioned medium from a transformed KS cell line (i.e. SLK cells), no fibroblast proliferation could be induced in KSGM. These results indicate that KS cell line (i.e. SLK cells), no fibroblast proliferation could be induced in KSGM. These results indicate that even though dermal-derived cells can have an identical spindle-shape by light microscopy, significant heterogeneity can be defined amongst such cells from normal and tumor-bearing human skin. Having established culture conditions to propagate these different cell types and phenotypic criteria to distinguish them from one another, will provide new research opportunities to explore the function and ontogeny of the diverse mesenchymal cells that take on a spindle-shaped morphology in culture.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center