IJMS, Vol. 23, Pages 8918: Human Umbilical Cord Lining-Derived Epithelial Cells: A Potential Source of Non-Native Epithelial Cells That Accelerate Healing in a Porcine Cutaneous Wound Model (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)
Human umbilical cord lining epithelial cells [CLECs) are naïve in nature and can be ethically recovered from cords that are routinely discarded. The success of using oral mucosal epithelial cells for cornea defects hints at the feasibility of treating cutaneous wounds using non-native CLECs. Herein, we characterized CLECs using flow cytometry (FC) and skin organotypic cultures in direct comparison with skin keratinocytes (KCs). This was followed by wound healing study to compare the effects of CLEC application and the traditional use of human skin allografts (HSGs) in a porcine wound model. While CLECs were found to express all the epidermal cell markers probed, the major difference between CLECs and KCs lies in the level of expression (in FC analysis) as well as in the location of expression (of the epithelium in organotypic cultures) of some of the basal cell markers probed. On the pig wounds, CLEC application promoted accelerated healing with no adverse reaction compared to HSG use. Though CLECs, like HSGs, elicited high levels of local and systemic immune responses in the animals during the first week, these effects were tapered off more quickly in the CLEC-treated group. Overall, the in vivo porcine data point to the potential of CLECs as a non-native and safe source of cells to treat cutaneous wounds.