1989 In Vitro Cell Dev Biol 1989 Nov ;25(11):1039-1045
Department of Molecular Cell Biology, State University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Contraction of collagen by human fibroblasts and keratinocytes

In the process of wound healing keratinocytes and fibroblasts play an important role, keratinocytes in the re-epithelization process and fibroblasts in the process of wound contraction. We have studied the role of human keratinocytes and fibroblasts in the rearrangement of collagen in a collagen lattice model system. Our results revealed that keratinocytes as well as fibroblasts rearrange the collagen lattice; this occurs in a cell number and collagen concentration dependent manner. The optimal gel contraction is obtained in the presence of keratinocytes on the top of and of fibroblasts in the collagen lattice, the situation most closely approaching the in vivo situation. Between the two types of cells, differences in morphologic behavior were observed: when incorporated into the gel the keratinocytes retained their spherical shape throughout the whole culture period, but fibroblasts became elongated and formed extensions. Our data suggest that not only fibroblasts but also keratinocytes may be involved in the process of wound contraction