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Carretero M.,Cutaneous Diseases Modeling Unit | Guerrero-Aspizua S.,Regene Medi Unit | del Rio M.,Regene Medi Unit
Bioengineered Bugs | Year: 2011

Ongoing progress in the field of regenerative medicine, in combination with the development of tissue-engineered skin products, has opened new possibilities for the treatment of certain diseases in which current treatments are aimed at alleviating symptoms but are not able to get a permanent cure. Our laboratory has developed a fibrin-based bioengineered human skin that has been successfully used for permanent regenerative therapies in different situations in the clinic. Moreover, we have been able to stably regenerate human skin by orthotopic grafting of this skin equivalent onto the back of immunodeficient mice. The so-called skin-humanized mouse model system has permitted us to model several monogenic skin diseases, when keratinocytes and fibroblasts harboring the genetic defect were used. In most cases different gene therapy approaches for ex vivo correction of cells have proved effective in reverting the phenotype using this model. More importantly, the feasibility of the system has allowed us to generate a skin humanized mouse model for psoriasis, a common chronic inflammatory disease where the immune component has a pivotal role in the pathogenesis. Establishing reliable humanized animal models for skin diseases is necessary to gain a deeper knowledge of the pathogenesis and to develop novel therapeutic strategies. In this sense, the skin humanized mouse model developed in our laboratory meets the needs of this field of research. © 2011 Landes Bioscience. Source

Di W.-L.,University College London | Larcher F.,Cutaneous Diseases Modeling Unit | Semenova E.,University College London | Talbot G.E.,University College London | And 4 more authors.
Molecular Therapy | Year: 2011

Netherton syndrome (NS) is a debilitating congenital skin disorder caused by mutations in the SPINK5 gene encoding the lymphoepithelial Kazal-type-related inhibitor (LEKTI). It is characterized by defective keratinization, recurrent infections, and hypernatraemic dehydration with a mortality rate of about 10% in the first year of life. Currently, there are no curative treatments for NS. We have developed a HIV-1 based, self-inactivating lentiviral vector to express SPINK5 in keratinocytes as part of an ex-vivo gene therapy strategy for NS. High transduction efficiency was achieved in NS keratinocytes and reconstitution of LEKTI expression was confirmed in previously deficient cells. These genetically corrected keratinocytes were further tested in an in vitro organotypic culture (OTC) system and in vivo mouse/human skin engraftment model. Results showed correction of epidermal architecture in both OTCs and regenerated skin grafts. Importantly, the results from corrected skin grafts indicated that even where detectable LEKTI expression was restored to a limited numbers of cells, a wider bystander benefit occurred around these small populations. As LEKTI is a secreted protein, the genetically modified graft may provide not only an immediate local protective barrier, but also act as a source of secreted LEKTI providing a generalized benefit following ex-vivo gene therapy. © The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy. Source

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