In vivo skin regeneration and wound healing using cell micro-transplantation


  • L. Nanić
  • A. Cedilak
  • N.Š. Vidaček
  • F. Gruber
  • M. Huzak
  • M. Bader
  • I. Rubelj


  • Pharmaceutics


  • Pharmaceutics 14 (9): 1955


  • BACKGROUND: The accumulation of senescent cells in tissues alters tissue homeostasis and affects wound healing. It is also considered to be the main contributing factor to aging. In addition to losing their ability to divide, senescent cells exert detrimental effects on surrounding tissues through their senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). They also affect stem cells and their niche, reducing their capacity to divide which increasingly reduces tissue regenerative capacity over time. The aim of our study was to restore aged skin by increasing the fraction of young cells in vivo using a young cell micro-transplantation technique on Fischer 344 rats. Employing the same technique, we also used wild-type skin fibroblasts and stem cells in order to heal Dominant Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bulosa (DDEB) wounds and skin blistering. RESULTS: We demonstrate that implantation of young fibroblasts restores cell density, revitalizes cell proliferation in the dermis and epidermis, rejuvenates collagen I and III matrices, and boosts epidermal stem cell proliferation in rats with advancing age. We were also able to reduce blistering in DDEB rats by transplantation of skin stem cells but not skin fibroblasts. CONCLUSIONS: Our intervention proves that a local increase of young cells in the dermis changes tissue homeostasis well enough to revitalize the stem cell niche, ensuring overall skin restoration and rejuvenation as well as healing DDEB skin. Our method has great potential for clinical applications in skin aging, as well as for the treatment of various skin diseases.