Transplantation of an LGR6: The In Vitro Development of Polarized Hair-Bearing Skin+: The In Vitro Development of Polarized Hair-Bearing Skin Epithelial Stem Cell–Enriched Scaffold for Repair of Full-Thickness Soft-Tissue Defects: The In Vitro Development of Polarized Hair-Bearing Skin

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Abstract

Background:

Recent literature has shown that full-thickness wounds, devoid of the stem cell niche, can subsequently be reconstructed with functional skin elements following migration of the LGR6+ epithelial stem cell into the wound bed. In this study, the authors use a variety of LGR6+ epithelial stem cell–seeded scaffolds to determine therapeutic utility and regenerative potential in the immediate reconstruction of full-thickness wounds.

Methods:

Isolated LGR6+ epithelial stem cells were seeded onto a spectrum of acellular matrices and monitored in both in vitro and in vivo settings to determine their relative capacity to regenerate tissues and heal wounds.

Results:

Wound beds containing LGR6+ stem cell–seeded scaffolds showed significantly augmented rates of healing, epithelialization, and hair growth compared with controls. Gene and proteomic expression studies indicate that LGR6+ stem cell–seeded constructs up-regulate WNT, epidermal growth factor, and angiogenesis pathways. Finally, the addition of stromal vascular fraction to LGR6+ stem cell–seeded constructs induces polarized tissue formation, nascent hair growth, and angiogenesis within wounds.

Conclusions:

LGR6+ stem cells are able to undergo proliferation, differentiation, and migration following seeding onto a variety of collagen-based scaffolding. In addition, deployment of these constructs induces epithelialization, hair growth, and angiogenesis within wound beds. The addition of stromal vascular fraction to LGR6+ stem cell–containing scaffolds initiated an early form of tissue polarization, providing for the first time a clinically applicable stem cell–based construct that is capable of the repair of full-thickness wounds and hair regeneration.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Therapeutic, V.

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