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February 1990

Characterization of Cellular Elements in Healed Cultured Keratinocyte Autografts Used to Cover Burn Wounds

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill. Dr Woodley is now with the Department of Dermatology at Stanford (Calif) University School of Medicine.

Arch Dermatol. 1990;126(2):175-180. doi:10.1001/archderm.1990.01670260045008

• Biopsy specimens from unburned skin were obtained from three severely burned patients and placed into tissue culture. After 2 to 3 weeks, the cultured keratinocytes were released from the Petri dishes and transplanted onto the patient's burn wound, which had been completely excised down to muscle fascia, thereby removing all cutaneous elements. Healing cultured autografts were found to become repopulated with Langerhans cells within 3 to 6 weeks. A neodermis rich in fibronectin rapidly formed between the autografts and muscle fascia. However, using monoclonal antibodies to cytokeratins as markers of differentiation, we found that the autograft keratinocytes expressed an abnormal pattern of differentiation that was similar to the differentiation seen in hyperproliferative states such as psoriasis. In contrast, healed split-thickness graft donor sites and reepithelialized interstices of mesh grafts maintained the basal keratinocyte staining pattern of normal skin with the AE-1 monoclonal antibody.

(Arch Dermatol. 1990;126:175-180)