Morphological evidence of basal keratinocyte migration during the re-epithelialization process

Akihiro Hosoya, Jong Min Lee, Sung Won Cho, Ji Youn Kim, Naoshi Shinozaki, Takahiko Shibahara, Masaki Shimono, Han Sung Jung

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29 Citations (Scopus)


The regeneration of wounded stratified epithelium is accomplished via the migration of keratinocytes from the margins of the wound. However, the process of keratinocyte migration on the wound surface and the role of epithelial stem cells during re-epithelialization remain to be elucidated. Therefore, we administered BrdU to embryonic mice and generated epithelial defects on the buccal mucosa of these mice at two weeks after birth, using CO2 laser irradiation, with which we removed the entire thickness of the epithelium. In the unwounded epithelium, cytokeratin 14, p63, and BrdU were localized within the basal layer of the epithelium, but the majority of cells within the regenerated epithelium were immunopositive for these proteins. PCNA-negative and BrdU-positive basal keratinocytes, which evidence a slow cell cycle, were localized solely within the basal layer of the unwound epithelium facing the tips of dermal papillae. After laser irradiation, these basal keratinocytes facing the tips of the papillae evidenced positive immunoreactivity for PCNA, in addition to BrdU. These results indicate that epithelial stem cells of oral mucosa may be localized in the basal layer of the epithelium facing the tips of dermal papillae, and may migrate laterally with other basal keratinocytes in response to external stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1165-1175
Number of pages11
JournalHistochemistry and cell biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments We would like to thank Mr. T. Hara (Panasonic Dental Inc., Osaka, Japan) for his technical support. This work was supported by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) grant funded by the Korea government (MOST); Grant number: No. M106-46020003-07N4602-00310.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Histology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Cell Biology


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