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Histological and functional comparisons of four anatomical regions of porcine skin with human abdominal skin

Khiao In, M., Richardson, K.C., Loewa, A., Hedtrich, S., Kaessmeyer, S. and Plendl, J. (2019) Histological and functional comparisons of four anatomical regions of porcine skin with human abdominal skin. Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia, 48 (3). pp. 207-217.

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Because of the shortage of human skin for research purposes, porcine skin has been used as a model of human skin. The aim of this study was to identify the region of German Landrace pig skin that could be used as the best possible substitute for human abdominal skin. Porcine samples were collected from the ear, flank, back and caudal abdomen; human abdominal skin samples were excised during plastic surgery. Histological and ultrastructural assessments were carried out on the epidermis and dermis, with emphasis on the dermo-epidermal interface length, dermo-epidermal thickness ratio as well as densities of; hair follicles, arrector pili muscles, blood vessels and sweat glands. In the pig, the barrier function of the four anatomical regions was assessed. Results showed that both histologically and ultrastructurally, all four regions of porcine skin were similar to human skin. These include the shapes of keratinocytes, structure of cell contacts and presence of Weibel Palade bodies in endothelial cells. Other parameters such as the thickness of epidermis, the thickness of stratum basale, spinosum and granulosum and the number of cell layers in the stratum corneum were similar in human abdominal and in all four regions of porcine skin. However, there were also significant differences especially in the thickness of the stratum corneum, the dermo-epidermal interface length and the blood vessel density.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Copyright: © 2019 Blackwell Verlag GmbH
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