Human bone marrow-derived cells: An attractive source to populate dermal substitutes

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We have previously shown the importance of dermal fibroblasts within skin substitutes for promoting the emergence of a functional neodermis after grafting in humans. However, the use of fibroblasts from sources other than the dermis needs to be evaluated for patients with extensive skin loss. Here we examined the capacity of human bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs), selected for their ability to adhere to plastic culture dishes, to behave like human dermal fibroblasts when incorporated within a 3D in vitro reconstructed tissue that promotes dermal fibroblast differentiation. Like dermal fibroblasts, BMDCs contracted a collagen matrix and were growth regulated by the matrix environment. They had the same shape and their nuclei had the same form factor as dermal fibroblasts. In addition, both cell types expressed desmin and vimentin but not α-smooth muscle actin. BMDCs deposited collagen types I and III, and fibrillin-1 with similar efficiency to dermal fibroblasts. In addition, BMDCs have the potential to regulate this deposition, as they produced metalloproteinases (MMP1, MMP2, and MMP9) and metalloproteinase inhibitors (TIMP1) very similarly to dermal fibroblasts. BMDCs can thus be induced to express functions resembling those of dermal fibroblasts, including those involved in the wound healing process.

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