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Human Amniotic Membrane Enriched with Urinary Bladder Fibroblasts Promote the Re-Epithelization of Urothelial Injury.

  • Jerman, Urška Dragin1
  • Veranič, Peter1
  • Cirman, Tina2
  • Kreft, Mateja Erdani1
  • 1 Institute of Cell Biology, 37664Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia. , (Slovenia)
  • 2 86684Blood Transfusion Centre of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia. , (Slovenia)
Published Article
Cell Transplantation
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
DOI: 10.1177/0963689720946668
PMID: 32841052


Culturing cells in three-dimensional systems that include extracellular matrix components and different cell types mimic the native tissue and as such provide much more representative results than conventional two-dimensional cell cultures. In order to develop biomimetic bladder tissue in vitro, we used human amniotic membrane (AM) extracellular matrix as a scaffold for bladder fibroblasts (BFs) and urothelial cells. Our aims were to evaluate the integration of BFs into the AM stroma, to assess the differentiation of the urothelium on BFs-enriched AM scaffolds, and to evaluate the AM as a urothelial wound dressing. First, to achieve the optimal integration of BFs into AM stroma, different intact and de- epithelialized AM (dAM) scaffolds were tested. BFs secreted matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and MMP-2 and integrated into the stroma of all types of AM scaffolds. Second, to establish urothelial tissue equivalent, urothelial cells were seeded on dAM scaffolds enriched with BFs. The BFs in the stroma of the AM scaffolds promoted (1) the proliferation of urothelial cells, (2) the attachment of urothelial cells on AM basal lamina with hemidesmosomes, and (3) development of multilayered urothelium with expressed uroplakins and well-developed cell junctions. Third, we established an ex vivo model of the injured bladder to evaluate the dAM as a wound dressing for urothelial full-thickness injury. dAM acted as a promising wound dressing since it enabled rapid re-epithelization of urothelial injury and integrated into the bladder tissue. Herein, the developed urothelial tissue equivalents enable further mechanistic studies of bladder epithelial-mesenchymal interactions, and they could be applied as biomimetic models for preclinical testing of newly developed drugs. Moreover, we could hypothesize that AM may be suitable as a dressing of the wound that occurs during transurethral resection of bladder tumor, since it could diminish the possibility of tumor recurrence, by promoting the rapid re-epithelization of the urothelium.

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