The secretory coil of the ovine apocrine gland is composed predominantly of two cell types, secretory cells lining the lumen and myoepithelial cells adjacent to the basement membrane. The glands synthesize a number of hormones and growth factors, but analysis of the functions of these molecules may be hampered by the mixing of apocrine and sebaceous secretions in the pilary canal. The purpose of this study was to isolate the glands and devise simple culture procedures to facilitate investigations of secretory cell function. The most successful approach involved microdissection of the secretory coils individually from skin biopsies and culture in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium. After 1-2 wk in medium, cell outgrowths were seen from explants. These consisted predominantly of populations of epithelial cells, many containing granules. Smaller granules were usually concentrated around the cell nuclei and accumulated lipophilic dyes. Large granules were unreactive. Western analysis showed that cells in culture synthesized nerve growth factor-like peptides, a feature consistent with one of the functions of the gland in vivo. When isolated secretory coils were explanted to culture dishes coated with matrigel, highly compact, multilayered masses of cells grew out. Subsequently, tubular structures formed. The observations suggest that some differentiated functions of gland cells were retained in vitro and that the procedures described provide a system for the study of apocrine secretions in isolation from those of other skin glands.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 1999|
- Nerve growth factor
- Skin gland cells