Ann Dermatol.  2021 Aug;33(4):324-332. 10.5021/ad.2021.33.4.324.

Keratinocyte-Like Cells Trans-Differentiated from Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells, Facilitate Skin Wound Healing in Mice

  • 1Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2Atopy (Allergy) Research Center, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been reported to promote wound healing in both animal models and human studies. Among MSCs, adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) can be easily harvested in large quantities.
We investigated whether skin wound healing in mice can be facilitated by keratinocyte-like cells differentiated from ADSCs (KC-ADSCs).
For the wound contraction and epithelialization model, a 20 mm×20 mm fullthickness skin wound was made on the dorsum. For the wound epithelialization model, a 6 mm×6 mm full-thickness skin wound was made on the dorsum. A nitrile rubber stent with an inner diameter of 8 mm was sutured around the wounds to minimize wound contraction. Undifferentiated ADSCs (uADSCs) or KC-ADSCs was injected around the wound base in both models. To evaluate whether the injected ADSCs could enhance wound contraction in a skin wound, the contractile activity of ADSCs was assessed by an in vitro type I collagen gel contraction assay. Alpha-smooth muscle actin (αSMA) expressions in uADSCs and KC-ADSCs were also evaluated by flow cytometry and real-time polymerase chain reaction.
In a wound contraction and epithelialization model, KC-ADSCs further facilitated wound healing compared with uADSCs. In a wound epithelialization model, KC-ADSCs also further facilitated wound epithelialization compared with uADSCs. The contractile activity of KC-ADSCs was lower than that of uADSCs. The uADSCs expressed high levels of αSMA, which decreased after the differentiation into keratinocyte-like cells.
Our results suggest that the wound healing effect of KC-ADSCs depends primarily on re-epithelialization rather than wound contraction.


Keratinocytes; Mesenchymal stem cells; Wound healing
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