Chronic wound healing by fetal cell therapy may be explained by differential gene profiling observed in fetal versus old skin cells
Engineering of fetal tissue has a high potential for the treatment of acute and chronic wounds of the skin in humans as these cells have high expansion capacity under simple culture conditions and one organ donation can produce Master Cell Banks which can fabricate over 900 million biological bandages (9 x12 cm). In a Phase 1 clinical safety study, cases are presented for the treatment of recalcitrant chronic leg ulcers. All eight patients, representing 13 ulcers, tolerated multiple treatments with fetal biological bandages showing no negative secondary effects and repair processes similar to that seen in 3rd degree burns. Differential gene profiling using Affymetrix gene chips (analyzing 12,500 genes) were accomplished on these banked fetal cells compared to banked skin cells of an aged donor in order to point to potential indicators of wound healing. Families of genes involved in cell adhesion and extracellular matrix, cell cycle, cellular signaling, development and immune response show significant differences in regulation between banked fetal and those from banked old skin cells: with approximately 47.0% of genes over-expressed in fetal fibroblasts. Significant differences are seen in families of genes between fetal and old skin cells and it is perhaps these differences which contribute to efficient tissue repair seen in the clinic with fetal cell therapy.