Organotypic Human Skin Disease Models for the Assessment of Novel Therapeutic Approaches
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Comprehensive in vitro modelling of inflammatory human skin conditions is an essential first step in the development and assessment of potential therapeutic approaches. Mouse models or monolayer keratinocyte cultures come with distinct limitations which might be complimented or overcome by the use of human-specific organotypic 3D culture models. Over the course of this thesis, an organotypic culture system, based on patientderived immortalised keratinocyte cell lines on a dermal equivalent collagen 1 gel, was established and used to recapitulate phenotypical features for two hereditary skin diseases, Harlequin ichthyosis and Tylosis with oesophageal cancer. Small molecular compounds, supplied via the medium, or RNA interference were used to modulate disease-specific changes in histology and marker expression of the skin equivalent. Since hyperproliferative skin conditions can be associated with an aberrant wound healing phenotype, the organotypic system was manipulated to obtain a basic in vitro wound healing model. This model displays typical features of re-epithelialisation over time (both normal and disease-specific) which can further be manipulated via shRNAmediated knockdown or the exogenous supply of compounds. In parallel, a non-disease model was used to assess the topical application of novel nanopolymeric drug delivery systems in regard to their ability to penetrate across the permeability barrier. Penetrance profiles for the organotypic model (in dependence of co-application with chemical enhancers) showed a similar pattern as for topical applications performed in parallel on explant skin. In conclusion, a highly adaptable human organotypic keratinocyte culture model was developed and used to recapitulate (and manipulate) skin disease phenotypes and epidermal wound healing in vitro, as well as perform first essential assessments of novel drug delivery systems.
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