Characterisation of human fibroblasts as keratinocyte feeder layer using p63 isoforms status.
ABSTRACT Large-scale culture of primary keratinocytes allows the production of large epidermal sheet surfaces for the treatment of extensive skin burns. This method is dependent upon the capacity to establish cultures of proliferating keratinocytes in conditions compatible with their clonal expansion while maintaining their capacity to differentiate into the typical squamous pattern of human epidermis. Feeder layers are critical in this process because the fibroblasts that compose this layer serve as a source of adhesion, growth and differentiation factors. In this report, we have characterise the expression patterns of p63 isoforms in primary keratinocytes cultured on two different feeder layer systems, murine 3T3 and human fibroblasts. We show that with the latter, keratinocytes express a higher ratio of Delta N to TAp63 isoform, in relation with higher clonogenic potential. These results indicate that human fibroblasts represent an adequate feeder layer system to support the culture of primary human keratinocytes.