1994 Arch Dermatol Res 1994 ;286(2):107-114
Center International de Recherches Dermatologiques Galderma, Valbonne, France

Improvement of epidermal differentiation and barrier function in reconstructed human skin after grafting onto athymic nude mice

To determine whether epidermis reconstructed in vitro at the air-liquid interface on de-epidermized dermis has the capacity to normalize the expression of differentiation-specific markers, its lipid composition and stratum corneum barrier properties, human skin equivalents were transplanted onto athymic nude mice and investigated at different stages ranging from 1 to 4 months after grafting. Indirect immunofluorescence with species- or non-species-specific antibodies revealed that as early as 1 month after transplantation keratinization, and involucrin, loricrin and transglutaminase patterns were normalized. Human melanocytes were observed in the basal layer of the pigmented graft. As revealed by high-performance thin-layer chromatography and transmission electron microscopy after ruthenium tetroxide fixation, the lipid profile and the intracellular lamellar organization were similar to those found in natural epidermis. Transepidermal water loss measurements and penetration studies showed that the barrier properties of the reconstructed epidermis after transplantation were comparable to those of normal human skin