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Comparative analysis of proliferative activity of oral and epidermal keratinocytes under the influence of epidermal growth factor

Jovan Cabunac, Sanja Tanasković Stanković, Zoran Milosavljević, Irena Tanasković, Tatjana Kanjevac


Introduction and aim: Keratinocytes are the main cells of the stratified-squamous epithelium that covers oral cavity and skin. Keratinocytes of the oral cavity are, unlike epidermal, under the constant influence of EGF from saliva which increases their mitotic index and accelerates wound healing. The purpose of our research was to compare the proliferation rate of these two types of cells in “in vitro†conditions with identical cultivation media supplemented with EGF.

Material and methods: Biopsy material from three samples of both, oral mucosa and of the foreskin, were mechanically and enzymatically treated for primary isolation of keratinocytes. Identical number of cells of both the samples is cultivated in the culture vessels while adding nutrient medium supplemented with EGF. After 96 hours, the total number of keratinocytes was assessed in order to quantify the influence of EGF.

Results: Primary isolation of epidermal cells provided 2.5 times higher yield than the oral epithelium, but viability of keratinocytes was lower by approximately 25%. Very low and high concentrations of EGF have weak mitotic effect on the cells, whereas 5ng/L of this hormone gave the highest yield of both oral and epidermal keratinocytes. Yield of oral keratinocytes was by around 16% higher. Absence of this growth factor leads to a more rapid aging and growth arrest of the cultivated cells.

Conclusion: EGF is necessary for proliferation and differentiation of the keratinocytes. Oral keratinocytes have a higher proliferative capacity than epidermal ones while cultivated under the same conditions. 

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