Despite its modest capacity for regeneration, peripheral nervous system injury often results in significant long-term disability. Supplementing peripheral nervous system injury with autologous Schwann cells (SCs) may serve to rejuvenate the postinjury environment to enhance regeneration and ultimately improve functional outcomes. However, human nerve-derived SC (hN-SC) collection procedures require invasive surgical resection. Here, we describe the characterization of SCs from adult human skin (hSk-SCs) of four male donors ranging between 27 and 46 years old. Within five weeks of isolating and culturing adherent mixed skin cells, we were able to obtain 3-5 million purified SCs. We found that hSk-SCs appeared transcriptionally indistinguishable from hN-SCs with both populations exhibiting expression of SC genes including: SOX10, SOX9, AP2A1, CDH19, EGR1, ETV5, PAX3, SOX2, CX32, DHH, NECL4, NFATC4, POU3F1, S100B, and YY1. Phenotypic analysis of hSk-SCs and hN-SCs cultures revealed highly enriched populations of SCs indicated by the high percentage of NES+ve, SOX10+ve, s100+ve and p75+ve cells, as well as the expression of a battery of other SC-associated proteins (PAX3, CDH19, ETV5, SOX2, POU3F1, S100B, EGR2, and YY1). We further show that both hSk-SCs and hN-SCs are capable of promoting axonal growth to similar degrees and that a subset of both associate with regenerating axons and form myelin following transplantation into the injured mouse sciatic nerve. Interestingly, although the majority of both hSk-SCs and hN-SCs maintained SOX10 immunoreactivity following transplant, only a subset of each activated the promyelinating factor, POU3F1, and were able to myelinate. Taken together, we demonstrate that adult hSk-SCs are genetically and phenotypically indistinguishable to hN-SCs.
Pubmed ID: 28512649 RIS Download
Mesh terms: Adult | Animals | Axons | Cell Culture Techniques | Cell Separation | Ganglia, Spinal | Gene Expression | Humans | Male | Mice, Transgenic | Middle Aged | Nerve Regeneration | Neuronal Outgrowth | Rats, Sprague-Dawley | Schwann Cells | Sciatic Nerve | Skin | Thigh | Tissue Culture Techniques
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