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Organotypic cocultures as skin equivalents: A complex and sophisticated in vitro system


To assess the role of genes required for skin organogenesis, tissue regeneration and homeostasis, we have established in vitro skin equivalents composed of primary cells or cell lines, respectively. In these organotypic cocultures keratinocytes generate a normal epidermis irrespective of the species and tissue origin of fibroblasts. The combination of cells derived from mouse and human tissues facilitates the identification of the origin of compounds involved in epidermal tissue reconstitution and thus the precise analysis of growth regulatory mechanisms.



Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium


epidermal growth factor


fetal calf serum


human dermal fibroblasts


mouse embryonic fibroblasts


normal epidermal keratinocytes


transforming growth factor alpha


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Correspondence to Nicole Maas-Szabowski.

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Published: April 12, 2004

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Stark, HJ., Szabowski, A., Fusenig, N.E. et al. Organotypic cocultures as skin equivalents: A complex and sophisticated in vitro system. Biol. Proced. Online 6, 55–60 (2004).

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Indexing terms

  • Cocultures
  • Keratinocytes
  • Tissue engineering