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March 1960

Survival of Human Skin Transplanted into the Cheek Pouch of the Golden Hamster

Author Affiliations

San Francisco

From the Division of Dermatology, Stanford University School of Medicine.; Sophus Goth Fellow in Dermatology, Stanford University School of Medicine (Dr. Resnick).

AMA Arch Derm. 1960;81(3):394-399. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.03730030052008

Although the technique of heterotransplantation of human tissue into small animals has been used in the field of cancer research for many years,3-5,7 its applicability to research in dermatology has been explored only recently.17

Investigation into the nature of many skin diseases is hampered because such disorders do not occur naturally in experimental animals. It was our thought that the skin from patients with some of the histologically identifiable dermatoses (e.g., psoriasis and lichen planus) might be transplanted into the hamster cheek pouch and still retain its pathological characteristics. If, for instance, psoriatic skin would grow as such, distinctly different from normal skin under like circumstances, then the investigative possibilities would be appreciable.

A corollary objective of this study was to determine the necessity, if any, of cortisone treatment for the survival of heterotransplants of this nature.

Materials and Methods  The cheek pouch of the Golden hamster was