Re-epithelialization of porcine skin by the sweat apparatus

S. J. Miller*, E. M. Burke, M. D. Rader, P. A. Coulombe, R. M. Lavker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


The behavior of the keratinocyte during the initial stages of cutaneous wound repair has been the subject of intense investigation. Most of these studies have focused on the lateral edges of wounds as the source of activated keratinocytes. Less attention has been directed towards elucidating the role of the appendageal structures as sources of keratinocytes for re- epithelialization, particularly the sweat apparatus. Surgical wounds of specific depths were created in pig skin, above and below hair follicles, and wound healing was allowed to take place in a setting in which lateral ingrowth of keratinocytes by migration was prevented. In this manner, all re- epithelialization occurred from residual appendageal structures. In those wounds where only sweat gland elements remained, an epithelium formed that had clinical, morphologic, and protein electrophoretic features closer to palmar/plantar or mucosal-like epithelia. In contrast, wounds that retained elements of the hair follicle healed faster and the resultant epithelium clinically, morphologically, and biochemically resembled the surrounding nonwounded epidermis. These findings establish that the sweat apparatus is capable of re-epithelializing the skin surface after a major cutaneous wound, but may not be capable of mimicking the epidermis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998


  • Environmental modulation
  • Epithelial stem cells
  • Intrinsic divergence
  • Keratinization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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