Pubblicazione Scientifica Journal of Stem Cell Therapy and Transplantation

Intraepidermal Injections of Autologous Epidermal Cell Suspension: A new promising approach to Dermatological Disorders. Preliminary Study

PUBBLICAZIONE SCIENTIFICA RINALDI

Elisa Borsani1,2, Luigi Fabrizio Rodella1,2, Elisabetta Sorbellini3, Rita Rezzani1,2, Daniela Pinto4, Barbara Marzani4, Giovanna Tabellini4, Mariangela Rucco3 and Fabio Rinaldi3*

Abstract

Regenerative medicine is a modern approach of dermatological treatment, using Epidermal Cells of the interfollicular epidermis (ESCs) for their effect in skin regeneration in chronic ulcers and burns, melanoma, vitiligo, junctional epidermolysis bullosa. Intraepidermal injections of autologous epidermal cell suspension can be a new and very promising treatment for many other cutaneous disorders as non-scarring alopecia (Alopecia Areata, Androgenic Alopecia) or scarring alopecia (Lichern Plano Pilaris alopecia, Discoid Lupus Erithematosus alopecia), anti-aging therapies. The intraepidermal injection of an autologous epidermal cell suspension is a simple, fast and safe surgical procedure: a small, thin portion of the epidermis of the patient undergoes a treatment where a suspension with all the cells collected from the epidermis and cultured for 7 days is injected into the skin. Our preliminary study shows that a suspension contains a significant number of viable cells that survive at day 7 in culture.

Our research is ongoing and is focusing on the typing of the different cells in the suspension and evaluation of the presence and the nature of stem cells.

Introduction

Regenerative medicine is a modern approach of dermatological treatment, using Epidermal Cells of the interfollicular epidermis (ESCs) to help skin regeneration after severe damages, such as chronic ulcers and burns [1]. Some clinical trials have already investigated the use of ESCs to treat other skin diseases such as melanomas [2-5], Vitiligo [6-10] and Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa [11].

The intraepidermal injection of an autologous epidermal cell suspension may be a new and extremely promising treatment for several other skin disorders, such as non-scarring alopecia (Alopecia Areata, Androgenic Alopecia), scarring alopecia (Lichen Plano Pilaris Alopecia, Discoid Lupus Erythematosus Alopecia), and anti-aging therapies. Our experience in autologous preparation like platelet rich plasma (PRP) in Alopecia Areata [12], a common auto-immune condition which causes hair loss induced by inflammation and presents limited therapeutic options, has encouraged us in the use of autologous derived material for helping skin regeneration and we started to investigate the effectiveness of epidermal cells against certain specific skin disorders.

Skin is a complex structure with two different layers, the epidermis and the dermis, made up of different cell lineages, which ensure the maintenance of the normal skin homeostasis (tissue repair, barrier function). In the basal layer of the epidermis, the cell population is heterogeneous as this is made up of several cell types such as keratinocytes, melanocytes, Langerhans cells, Merkell cells [13]. In the follicular epidermis, multiple populations of stem cells (SCs) are found in different locations, with niches of SCs in the basal layer of the epidermis, around the sebaceous gland and in the bulge niche of hair follicles [14,15].

The intraepidermal injection of an autologous epidermal cell suspension is a simple, fast and safe surgical procedure: a small, thin portion of the epidermis of the patient undergoes a treatment where a suspension with all the cells collected from the epidermis is injected into the skin. The first step, however, is to select the cells to be injected. So, the goal of this preliminary study was to investigate the content of an autologous suspension of epidermal cells and their viability after 7 days of culture and to find a simple and fast link between clinical application and in vitro manipulation of cells. Most interesting, this goal was achieved without using coated flask, as reported by other authors [16].

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