In vivo reprogramming of wound-resident cells generates skin epithelial tissue.

PubMed ID: 30185909

Kurita M, Araoka T, Hishida T, O'Keefe DD, Takahashi Y, Sakamoto A, Sakurai M, Suzuki K, Wu J, Yamamoto M, Hernandez-Benitez R, Ocampo A, Reddy P, Shokhirev MN, Magistretti P, Núñez Delicado E, Eto H, Harii K, Izpisua Belmonte JC

Nature. Sep 2018. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0477-4


As the global population ages non-healing ulcers which are, in severe cases, life threatening conditions are becoming increasingly common. Treatment currently requires the transplantation of pre-existing epithelial components, such as skin grafts, or therapy using cultured cells.

In this article the authors lead by the Spanish scientist Dr. Juan Carlos Izpisua-Belmolte at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies (La Jolla, CA, USA) and with colllaborations with scientist from Universidad Catolica San Antonio (Murcia, Spain) describe an alternative method to supply an epidermal coverage for the treatment of these kinds of wounds.

They generated expandable epithelial tissues using in vivo reprogramming of wound-resident mesenchymal cells. Transduction of four transcription factors that specify the skin-cell lineage enabled efficient and rapid de novo epithelialization from the surface of cutaneous ulcers in mice.

These findings may provide a new therapeutic avenue for treating skin wounds and could be extended to other disease situations in which tissue homeostasis and repair are impaired.

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