There has been an upsurge in regenerative medicine in recent years. In particular, because oral mucosal epithelial cells can be obtained noninvasively, cultured epithelial cell sheets have been used in a number of ectopic transplantations. Additionally, the verification of the properties of experimental animals' cultured cells has accelerated the application of regenerative medicine. In the present study, the properties of oral mucosal epithelial cells were compared between six animal species. The human and pig epithelia were relatively thicker than the epithelia of the other species. The colony-forming efficiency of the rat was the highest, followed by those of the dog, human, rabbit, and pig, whereas the colonies of the mouse cells were all paraclone and uncountable in the colony-forming assay. We also found that the rabbit and pig cells proliferated poorly and were unable to form cell sheets without feeder layers. In contrast, even in the absence of feeder layers and cholera toxin, cultured dog and mouse cells formed contiguous sheets, when the cell seeding density was high. These results indicate that interspecies variation is considerable in oral mucosal epithelial cells and that specific experimental animal or human cells must be chosen according to the intended use.
Keywords: cell sheet; interspecies comparison; oral mucosal epithelial cell; proliferation; regenerative medicine.
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