Method and culture medium for ex vivo enrichment, expansion and long term culture of hair follicle stem cells
Processes and Methods (incl. Screening) : Life Sciences-HTS/HCS
Nucleic Acid-, Protein and Cell-related Technologies : Cell related
Adult somatic stem cells (SCs) fuel tissue renewal, repair, and remodeling in mature organs. By tuning their proliferation rate to match the changing needs of their resident tissues, SCs maintain organ form and function.
Mammalian skin is characterized by a hair coat that maintains body temperature, homeostasis and serves a protective function. During postnatal life, mammalian skin and its hair coat are constantly renewed. SCs residing in the epidermis (referred to as epidermis-derived stem cells) such as interfollicular epidermal SCs or hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) ensure the maintenance of adult skin homeostasis and trigger hair regeneration.
Recently, cell culture systems that support survival and expansion of SCs from mouse and human epithelial tissues other than the epidermis have been reported. In particular, no culture system for epidermis-derived stem cells is known that allows specific and targeted enrichment and expansion of these cells in vitro.
Therefore there is an urgent need to provide means and methods for ex vivo culturing and expansion of epidermis-derived stem cell.
Scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne developed a new method enabling the de novo generation, maintenance and enrichment of functionally competent epidermis-derived stem cells that display CD34+α6+ HFSCs characteristics. To achieve that they combined a 3-dimensional extracellular matrix (e.g. Matrigel) with different growth factors as well as a ROCK and a SSH inhibitor, and created an environment both necessary and sufficient to enable de novo generation, growth and expansion of cells with HFSCs features by mimicking a SC niche. Furthermore, using full-thickness skin reconstitution assay, they could show that cells cultured under above-described conditions retain their self-renewal capacity and multipotency leading to hair growth upon transplantation.
Based on this, a use of this cultured HFSCs in tissue transplantation and/or in the treatment of dermal burns, or treatment of conditions where areas of skin have been removed due to surgical operation, biopsy, burn or trauma as well as under conditions where the regenerative capacity of the skin is compromised such as chronic wound or baldness is possible. Furthermore, cultured HFSCs can be used as a screening platform to identify compounds that enhance the function or de novo generation of HFSCs to be used in regenerative medicine or cosmetic applications.
In addition to this, this technology includes the development of culture conditions of expansion and maintenance of epidermis-derived cancer stem cells (CSCs), allowing screens for compounds that affect the function of these cells potentially to be used in cancer therapy.
The present technology relates to a method for ex vivo de novo generation and/or expansion of epidermis-derived stem cells in a 3D-extracellular matrix and a special cell culture medium for in vitro tissue production, in vitro drug discovery and toxicity screenings and medical applications.
We are now looking for a collaboration- and/or licensing partner who is interested in this approach and eager to develop these scientific achievements into a marketable good.
- PCT application filed: 04.10.2016
- PCT-Patent Application PCT/EP2016/073675
Chacón-Martínez C.A. et al. (2017): Hair follicle stem cell cultures reveal self-organizing plasticity of stem cells and their progeny The EMBO Journal. 36: 151-164. Selected as F1000Prime publication.
- Ref.-No.: 1013-5012-IKF (1.7 MiB)
Dr. Ingrid Kapser-Fischer
Phone: +49 89 / 29 09 19-19