Nestin+ progenitor cells isolated from adult human sweat gland stroma promote reepithelialisation and may stimulate angiogenesis in wounded human skin ex vivo
The combination of an aging population and an increasing prevalence of diseases associated with impaired-wound healing, including obesity, peripheral vascular disease and diabetes, is likely to result in a dramatic increase in the incidence and prevalence of chronic skin wounds. Indeed, systemic reviews are now not only trying to establish both the prevalence and the often under-estimated socio-economic costs of chronic skin wounds, but most importantly are addressing the impact that chronic wounds have on quality of life. Given the clear need for novel approaches to the management of chronic skin ulceration, ideally developed and tested in the human system in a manner that can be rapidly translated into clinical practice, we examined the effects of multipotent primary human nestin+ progenitor cells on human wound healing in an ex vivo model. Human sweat gland-derived nestin+ cells demonstrated the capacity to significantly promote two key wound healing parameters, i.e., both reepithelialisation and angiogenesis in experimentally wounded, organ-cultured human skin. The current data further support the use of full-thickness human skin wound-healing models ex vivo to pre-clinically test wound healing-promoting candidate agents. Whilst larger studies are required to substantiate a firm ""proof-of-concept,"" our preliminary studies encourage further efforts to systemically determine the potential of cell-based regenerative medicine strategies in general, and the use of skin appendage-associated human nestin+ cells in particular, as novel treatment strategies for chronic skin ulceration.