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Journal of Skin Cancer
Volume 2011, Article ID 936546, 8 pages
Research Article

Assessment of Transformed Properties In Vitro and of Tumorigenicity In Vivo in Primary Keratinocytes Cultured for Epidermal Sheet Transplantation

1Banque de Tissus et Cellules, Hôpital E. Herriot, 69437 Lyon cedex 03, France
2Centre International de Recherche sur le Cancer, 69372 Lyon cedex 08, France
3Centre Léon Bérard, 69373 Lyon cedex 03, France
4Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, 38043 Grenoble cedex 09, France
5Laboratoire de Cytogénétique HFME, 69677 Bron, France

Received 30 June 2010; Accepted 28 August 2010

Academic Editor: Mark G. Lebwohl

Copyright © 2011 A. Thépot et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Epidermal keratinocytes are used as a cell source for autologous and allogenic cell transplant therapy for skin burns. The question addressed here is to determine whether the culture process may induce cellular, molecular, or genetic alterations that might increase the risk of cellular transformation. Keratinocytes from four different human donors were investigated for molecular and cellular parameters indicative of transformation status, including (i) karyotype, (ii) telomere length, (iii) proliferation rate, (iv) epithelial-mesenchymal transition, (v) anchorage-independent growth potential, and (vi) tumorigenicity in nude mice. Results show that, despite increased cell survival in one keratinocyte strain, none of the cultures displayed characteristics of cell transformations, implying that the culture protocol does not generate artefacts leading to the selection of transformed cells. We conclude that the current protocol does not result in an increased risk of tumorigenicity of transplanted cells.