Real-time monitoring of keratin 5 expression during burn re-epithelialization.
ABSTRACT Keratin is a major protein produced during epithelialization following burn injury and is a useful marker for assessing wound healing. Transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) driven by the keratin 5 (K5) promoter (K5GFP mice) were used to monitor keratin expression, and thus, re-epithelialization of burn wounds.
K5GFP transgenic mice were created using conventional techniques, with PCR and Southern blot confirmation of transgene incorporation, followed by selection of the line with the most intense and consistent basal epithelial EGFP expression. Epi-fluorescent microscopy of 24 K5GFP mouse flanks and 10 negative littermate controls was used to characterize EGFP intensity, before wounding and serially for 30 days after administration of a standardized burn wound and excision. Biopsy sections of K5GFP and negative control mice were stained with K5 antibody and imaged with confocal microscopy to characterize the distribution of EGFP and K5 at baseline and after injury and to examine the correlation between K5 expression and EGFP expression during healing.
Green fluorescence intensity increased at the advancing wound margin of burned K5GFP mice, reaching a maximum between days 12 and 15 post-burn and then decreasing as healing completed. K5 and EGFP expression increased in parallel in burned K5GFP mice as demonstrated by confocal microscopy.
EGFP expression correlated with K5 expression during wound healing and therefore serves as a good marker of re-epithelialization. This transgenic model allows noninvasive, real-time assessment of in vivo K5 expression and will be useful in the study of wound healing.
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ABSTRACT: To establish a method for efficient and relatively easy isolation of a cell population containing epithelial prostate stem cells, we developed two transgenic mouse models, K5/CFP and K18/RFP. In these models, promoters of the cytokeratin 5 (Krt5) and the cytokeratin 18 (Krt18) genes regulate cyan and red fluorescent proteins (CFP and RFP), respectively. CFP and RFP reporter protein fluorescence allows for visualization of K5(+) and K18(+) epithelial cells within the cellular spatial context of the prostate gland and for their direct isolation by FACS. Using these models, it is possible to test directly the stem cell properties of prostate epithelial cell populations that are positively selected based on expression of cytoplasmic proteins, K5 and K18. After validating appropriate expression of the K5/CFP and K18/RFP transgenes in the developing and adult prostate, we demonstrate that a subset of CFP-expressing prostate cells exhibits stem cell proliferation potential and differentiation capabilities. Then, using prostate cells sorted from double transgenic mice (K5/CFP + K18/RFP), we compare RNA microarrays of sorted K5(+)K18(+) basal and K5(-)K18(+) luminal epithelial cells, and identify genes that are differentially expressed. Several genes that are over-expressed in K5(+) cells have previously been identified as potential stem cell markers. These results suggest that FACS isolation of prostate cells from these mice based on combining reporter gene fluorescence with expression of potential stem cell surface marker proteins will yield populations of cells enriched for stem cells to a degree that has not been attained by using cell surface markers alone.Transgenic Research 01/2011; 20(5):1073-86. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Burn injury can lead to abnormal sensory function at both the injury and at distant uninjured sites. Here, we used a mouse model to investigate return of nociceptive function and reinnervation of the skin at the wound and uninjured distant sites following a 3% total burn surface area full-thickness burn injury. We have previously shown that topical application of zinc-metallothionein-IIA (Zn(7) -MT-IIA) accelerates healing following burn injury, and here, we investigated the potential of Zn(7) -MT-IIA to enhance reinnervation and sensory recovery. In all burn-injured animals, there was a significant reduction in nociceptive responses (Semmes-Weinstein filaments) at locations near and distant to the wound up to 8 weeks following injury. Cutaneous nerve reinnervation (assessed using protein gene product 9.5 immunohistochemistry) of the wound center was slow in the epidermis but rapid in the dermis. In the dermis, nerves subsequently degenerated both at the wound center and in distant uninjured areas. In contrast, epidermal nerve densities in the distant uninjured areas returned to normal, uninjured levels. Zn(7) -MT-IIA did not influence return of nociceptive function nor reinnervation. We conclude that burn injury compromises nociceptive function and nerve regeneration both at the injury site and systemically; thus, therapies in addition to Zn(7) -MT-IIA should be explored to return normal sensory function.Wound Repair and Regeneration 04/2012; 20(3):367-77. · 2.76 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this review is to give a comprehensive overview of transgenic mouse lines suitable for studying gene function and cellular lineage relationships in lung development, homeostasis, injury, and repair. Many of the mouse strains reviewed in this Perspective have been widely shared within the lung research community, and new strains are continuously being developed. There are many transgenic lines that target subsets of lung cells, but it remains a challenge for investigators to select the correct transgenic modules for their experiment. This review covers the tetracycline- and tamoxifen-inducible systems and focuses on conditional lines that target the epithelial cells. We point out the limitations of each strain so investigators can choose the system that will work best for their scientific question. Current mesenchymal and endothelial lines are limited by the fact that they are not lung specific. These lines are summarized in a brief overview. In addition, useful transgenic reporter mice for studying lineage relationships, promoter activity, and signaling pathways will complete our lung-specific conditional transgenic mouse shopping list.American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 12/2011; 46(3):269-82. · 4.15 Impact Factor