Cleft palate repair leaves full-thickness mucosal defects on the palate. Healing might be improved by implantation of a mucosal substitute. However, the genetic and phenotypic deviations of cleft palate cells may hamper tissue engineering. The aim of this study was to construct mucosal substitutes from cleft palate cells, and to compare these with substitutes from normal palatal cells, and with native palatal mucosa. Biopsies from the palatal mucosa of eight children with cleft palate and eight age-matched control individuals were taken. Three biopsies of both groups were processed for (immuno)histochemistry; 5 were used to culture mucosal substitutes. Histology showed that the substitutes from cleft-palate and non-cleft-palate cells were comparable, but the number of cell layers was less than in native palatal mucosa. All epithelial layers in native palatal mucosa and mucosal substitutes expressed the cytokeratins 5, 10, and 16, and the proliferation marker Ki67. Heparan sulphate and decorin were present in the basal membrane and the underlying connective tissue, respectively. We conclude that mucosal cells from children with cleft palate can regenerate an oral mucosa in vitro.

Cleft palate, Fibroblast, Keratinocyte, Mucosa, Tissue engineering,
Journal of Dental Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Liu, J, Lamme, E.N, Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M, Krapels, I.P.C, Bian, Z, Marres, H, … von den Hoff, J. (2008). Cleft palate cells can regenerate a palatal mucosa in vitro. Journal of Dental Research, 87(8), 788–792. doi:10.1177/154405910808700806