Multilineage differentiation potential of human dermal skin-derived fibroblasts


Katrin Lorenz, Department of Cell Techniques and Applied Stem Cell Biology, Biotechnological-Biomedical Center, University of Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5, 04103 Leipzig, Germany, Tel.: +49 341 9731350, Fax: +49 341 9731359, e-mail:


Abstract:  Dermal skin-derived fibroblasts from rodent and human have been found to exhibit mesenchymal surface antigen immunophenotype and differentiation potential along the three main mesenchymal-derived tissues: bone, cartilage and fat. Human dermal skin-derived mesenchymal stem cells constitute a promising cell source in clinical applications. Therefore, we isolated fibroblastic mesenchymal stem-cell-like cells from human dermis derived from juvenile foreskins, which share a mesenchymal stem cell phenotype and multi-lineage differentiation potential. We could show similar expression patterns for CD14(−), CD29(+), CD31(−), CD34(−), CD44(+), CD45(−), CD71(+), CD73/SH3-SH4(+), CD90/Thy-1(+), CD105/SH2(+), CD133(−) and CD166/ALCAM(+) in well-established adipose tissue derived-stem cells and fibroblastic mesenchymal stem-cell-like cells by flow cytometry. Immunostainings showed that fibroblastic mesenchymal stem-cell-like cells expressed vimentin, fibronectin and collagen; they were less positive for α-smooth muscle actin and nestin, while they were negative for epithelial cytokeratins. When cultured under appropriate inducible conditions, both cell types could differentiate along the adipogenic and osteogenic lineages. Additionally, fibroblastic mesenchymal stem-cell-like cells demonstrated a high proliferation potential. These findings are of particular importance, because skin or adipose tissues are easily accessible for autologous cell transplantations in regenerative medicine. In summary, these data indicate that dermal fibroblasts with multilineage differentiation potential are present in human dermis and they might play a key role in cutaneous wound healing.