The aim of this study was to create and characterize a tissue-engineered mucosal equivalent (TEM) that closely resembles native mucosa. TEM consists of human primary keratinocytes and fibroblasts isolated from biopsies taken from healthy donors and seeded onto a de-epidermized dermis and cultured for 14 days at the air/liquid interface. The structure of TEM was examined and compared with native nonkeratinizing oral mucosa (NNOM). The various components of the newly formed epidermal layer, basement membrane and underlying connective tissue were analyzed using immunohistochemistry. The mucosal substitute presented in this study showed a mature stratified squamous epithelium that was similar to that of native oral mucosa, as demonstrated by K19, desmoglein-3 and involucrin staining. In addition, the expression of basement membrane components collagen type IV, laminin-5 and integrin α6 and β4 in TEM proved to be consistent with native oral mucosa. The expression of PAS, Ki67, K10 and K13, however, appeared to be different in TEM compared to NNOM. Nevertheless, the similarities with native oral mucosa makes TEM a promising tool for studying the biology of mucosal pathologies such as oral mucositis or fibrosis as well as the development of new therapies. Copyright

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Keywords Fibroblast, Keratinocyte, Oral mucosa, Tissue engineering
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Journal Cells, Tissues, Organs
Tra, W.M.W, van Neck, J.W, Hovius, S.E.R, van Osch, G.J.V.M, & Perez-Amodio, S. (2012). Characterization of a three-dimensional mucosal equivalent: Similarities and differences with native oral mucosa. Cells, Tissues, Organs, 195(3), 185–196. doi:10.1159/000324918