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Isolation and characterisation of human epidermal stem cells

Jones, Philip Howlett; (1995) Isolation and characterisation of human epidermal stem cells. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D.), University College London (United Kingdom). Green open access

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The human epidermis is constantly being renewed. Post mitotic terminally differentiated cells are shed from the surface of the epidermis. They are replaced by a population of cells in the basal cell layer of the epidermis that keep proliferating throughout adult life. These cells are called stem cells. The study of stem cells has been hampered by the lack of stem cell markers. Many aspects of keratinocyte differentiation are regulated by members of the integrin family of extracellular matrix (ECM) protein receptors. I set out to investigate if stem cells can be identified on the basis of integrin expression or ECM adhesion. I found that stem cells could be identified in vitro and in vivo by their high level surface expression of the β1 integrins and their rapid adhesion to extracellular matrix proteins in vitro. These cells were clonogenic in vitro, able to self renew, generated terminally differentiated keratinocytes via a population of committed progenitor cells, reconstituted an epidermis when grafted into nude mice, and exhibited the cell kinetic behaviour predicted for stem cells in vitro and in vivo. It was possible to localise stem cells in tissue sections stained with anti integrin antibodies. They had a patterned distribution in the epidermis, that varied with body site. The patterning could be reconsitituted in vitro in a manner that suggested it was regulated by interactions between keratinocytes. I also describe an approach to isolate novel stem cell markers using subtractive hybridisation. This has yielded 50 cDNA clones that await further characterisation. The potential applications of purified viable populations of epidermal stem cells are discussed.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D.
Title: Isolation and characterisation of human epidermal stem cells
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: (UMI)AAI10106811; Biological sciences; Stem cells
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10098865
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