Allogeneic fibroblasts used to grow cultured epidermal autografts persist in vivo and sensitize the graft recipient for accelerated second-set rejection

C. Scott Hultman, George M. Brinson, Soranit Siltharm, Suzan DeSerres, Brauce A. Cairns, H. D. Peterson, Anthony A. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: Cultured epidermal autografts (CEAs) have been used for wound coverage in patients with massive burns and other skin defects. However, CEAs often display late breakdown, which may be immunologically mediated and initiated by persistent foreign fibroblasts used as a feeder layer to optimize keratinocyte growth. This study investigates whether these fibroblasts, previously shown to persist in vitro, survive after grafting and induce host sensitization to alloantigen. Methods: CEAs from CBA donors (H- 2(k)) were grown on allogeneic NIH 3T3 (H-2(q)) or syngeneic LTK (H-2(k)) fibroblasts, which were removed by trypsinization 7 days later. CBA mice (n = 85) were flank-grafted with NIH allografts (positive control), CEA/3T3s, CEA/LTKs, or CBA autografts (negative control). Hosts were challenged with second set NIH tail allografts 3 weeks later. Median graft survival was compared between groups by Wilcoxon rank and λ2 analysis. Additional CBA mice (n = 15) received CEAs that were biopsied 0, 4, and 8 days after grafting. The presence of allogeneic fibroblasts was determined by Western immunoblotting, using KL295, a monoclonal antibody that recognizes H-2(q) (but not H-2(k)) class II histocompatibility antigens. Results: Allogeneic fibroblasts persisted after grafting but decreased over time, as determined by alloantigen expression on Western immunoblots. Accelerated tail graft rejection occurred in hosts primed by NIH allografts (9 days, p < 0.05), as well as by CEAs grown with an allogeneic (10 days, p < 0.05) but not a syngeneic feeder layer (12 days, NS). Mice receiving flank autografts rejected second set tail allografts at 12 days. Conclusions: Immunogenic fibroblasts used to grow CEAs survive in vivo and sensitize the graft recipient for accelerated second-set rejection. These persistent cells may initiate an inflammatory response that may result in late graft breakdown and limit the utility of CEAs grown with a foreign fibroblast feeder layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1996

Keywords

  • Burn injury
  • Cultured epidermal autograft
  • Skin replacement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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