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Matrix Biol. 1998 Dec;17(8-9):603-13.

Laminin 5 can promote assembly of the lamina densa in the skin equivalent model.

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Shiseido Life Science Research Center, Yokohama, Japan.


Skin equivalents were prepared by culturing human keratinocytes on the surface of type I collagen gel contracted by human skin fibroblasts (dermal equivalents) and by raising the gel to an air-liquid interface. A stratified squamous epithelium was formed with a well-differentiated cornified layer at the top of keratinocyte layers within 7 days after plating of the keratinocytes on the dermal equivalents. Although major basement membrane components such as collagens IV and VII and laminin 5 were detected immunohistochemically at the dermal-epidermal junction, a lamina densa was rarely observed by electron microscopy even in 14-day skin equivalents. When laminin 5 (1, 5 or 20 microg/ml) was added to the culture medium on day 7 through day 14, types IV and VII collagens at the dermal-epidermal junction stained more strongly by immunohistochemistry compared with the control. Patches of lamina densa were present along the epidermal-dermal junction, and vesicles containing electron-opaque sheets approximately 0.6 microm in diameter that reacted with anti-collagen IV antibody were also observed in basal keratinocytes in 14-day skin equivalents by electron microscopy. Morphometric analysis showed that the total length of lamina densa along the dermal-epidermal junction as well as in the vesicles increased up to 180%, 230% or 520% of control cultures by the addition of laminin 5 (1, 5 or 20 microg/ml, respectively). These results suggest that laminin 5 accelerates formation of the lamina densa along the dermal-epidermal junction of the skin equivalents, depending on the concentration of laminin 5 supplemented exogenously.

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