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Médecine de la Reproduction

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Therapeutic potential of human skin stem cells Volume 11, issue 1, janvier-février 2009

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Service de dermatologie, hôpital de l’Archet-II, CHU de Nice, 06003 Nice cedex 01, France

Epidermal stem cells are already used for therapeutic purposes, such as autologous cultured keratinocytes grafting for severe burns, or lately autologous genetically transduced keratinocytes grafting for the treatment of a patient with hereditary epidermolysis bullosa. The improvement of such cultured keratinocytes-based therapies requires better epidermal stem cell markers that would allow their selection before or during culture. The recent availability of embryonic stem cells as a source of epidermal stem cells and as a model of keratinocyte differenciation would probably help to solve this issue. Apart from epidermal stem cells, several findings have been made in the field of cutaneous stem cells, such as the characterization of several types of pluripotent stem cells in the dermis, or the induction of pluripotent stem cells from dermal fibroblasts. Therefore it now becomes possible to consider cutaneous stem cells for cell therapy of other organs than skin itself.