Institut for Biomedicin

Lars Bolund

Gene transfer into cultured human epidermis and its transplantation onto immunodeficient mice: an experimental model for somatic gene therapy

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  • Institut for Human Genetik
  • Klinisk Genetisk Afdeling
  • Internationalt Center
To try epidermis as a target for somatic gene therapy we studied transfected primary human keratinocytes grown in culture and grafted onto athymic mice. We have developed a novel technique for grafting cultured epidermal sheets onto mice. First, the graft is placed on the dorsal muscle fascia underneath the mouse skin using the latter as a bandage. Secondly, the mouse skin above the graft is removed, which exposes the grafted skin to open air and thus stimulates terminal differentiation. A novel method for the discrimination between murine and human epidermal cells is also presented, employing in situ hybridization with human Alu repeated DNA sequences. During monolayer culture the keratinocytes were lipofected with the gene for human growth hormone in an Epstein-Barr virus-based expression vector. The cells were allowed to develop a multilayered tissue for 5 d, secreting human growth hormone into the medium at a daily rate of at least 50 ng/cm2 of tissue. The transfected tissues were then grafted onto mice. We detected human growth hormone at levels of up to 2.6 ng/ml in mouse serum for 4 d, but later no human growth hormone could be found, although the transplants survived for months. To investigate the fate of the transfected cells in the transplanted tissue, we labeled them with the beta-galactosidase reporter gene. The cells staining positive for X-gal were found exclusively in the most superficial differentiated layers at 7 d after transplantation. This may be the main reason why no human growth hormone is found in the mouse circulation at this time.
TidsskriftJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Sider (fra-til)391-4
Antal sider4
StatusUdgivet - 1 sep. 1994

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