Development of an Innervated Model of Human Skin
Nancy Khammo, Jane Ogilvie and Richard H. Clothier
Neuronal cell responses and interactions with the epithelial and fibroblastic cells of the skin are a key factor in the production in vivo of the irritation/inflammatory response. Currently, few in vitro models are available that contain dermal, epidermal and the relevant neuronal components. The primary objective of this study was to produce and maintain a 3-D in vitro model of human skin containing these elements. The relevant neuronal component was supplied by adding sensory neurons derived from the dorsal root ganglion (DRG). Since adult neuronal cells do not grow significantly in vivo or in vitro, and since it is very difficult to obtain such cells from humans, it was necessary to employ embryonic rat DRG cells. The ultimate purpose of this model is to improve prediction of the in vivo skin irritancy potential of chemicals and formulations, without the need to use animal models. In addition, this approach has also been applied to the in vitro human eye and bronchial 3-D models being developed in the FRAME Alternatives Laboratory.