Archived Content

The following content has been archived and is available for historical reference.

Melanocyte project

This project uses induced pluripotent stem cells. iPSCs can be generated from any adult tissue, we predominantly reprogram fibroblasts following the polycistronic STEMCCA vector protocol with a Spinfection approach.

Stem cells and derived tissue-specific cells allow a variety of studies, one is described below (accepted abstract excerpt from the annual meeting of the European Society for Dermatological Research, ESDR).

“…….Lately we published 3D skin models for different monogenic and severe genodermatoses with and without changes in pigmentation.

To overcome the shortage of cells for large-scale patient-specific skin modelling, keratinocytes and melanocytes can be differentiated from patient iPS cells and incorporated into the 3D skin model.

Here we present a simple and fast protocol to differentiate human feeder-cultured iPSC into melanin expressing pure cultures of melanocytes using only one commercially available medium slightly modified and supplemented with two additional components after initial neuro-ectodermal induction with BMP4 and retinoic acid for the first days. Cells were passaged using typical melanocyte protocols with low concentrations of trypsin to enrich melanocytes from passage to passage. Cells underwent extensive characterization including immune-histological staining, melanin-assay, and qPCR which showed that iPSC-derived melanocytes are highly comparable to those extracted from epidermal sheets.  In a last step, iPSC-derived melanocytes have been used for 3D skin modelling to proof in-vitro functionality of the cells in regard to melanin-transfer and viability in a 3D tissue setting…….”

Please find further reading here:

  1. Eckl KM, de Lima Cunha, D, Saric T, Hennies HC Pigmented 3D skin models made from patient-specific iPS cell-derived melanocytes. Human Genetics 66th Annual Meeting (2016)
  2. Cunha D, Golding K, Tahir H, Barragán Vázquez, I, Saric T, Ploner C, Hennies HC, Eckl KM. TP63 is expressed in adult epidermal and iPSC-derived melanocytes supporting the role ofΔNp63 in ectodermal gatekeeping and cell migration to the epidermis. Am Human Genetics 67th Annual Meeting (2017)