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Cultured cells are useful for elucidating the function of human eccrine sweat gland myoepithelial cells; however, up until now, no human eccrine sweat gland cell line has retained the characteristics of myoepithelial cells.
In 2016, the research team established a method enabling human eccrine sweat gland cells to maintain the characteristics of myoepithelial cells for a short time by culturing human eccrine sweat gland myoepithelial cells under conditions similar to those in vivo .
We focused on the fact that human eccrine sweat gland myoepithelial cells cultured in an environment similar to that in vivo form a spherical structure covered with myoepithelial cells. Direct introduction of an immortalizing gene into the spherical structure enabled us to efficiently immortalize human eccrine sweat gland myoepithelial cells, achieving a breakthrough in generating iEM cells." Fumihiro Okada, study lead
Human eccrine sweat gland myoepithelial cells could previously be subcultured for only around three generations. iEM cells, on the other hand, can be subcultured for more than ten generations. Moreover, iEM cells express α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), a gene that supports the function of human myoepithelial cells, retaining their properties (Fig.2).
Now, the material transfer agreement for iEM cells allows the cells to be transferred through Applied Biological Material Inc. to research institutes in many countries worldwide. "We expect that iEM cells, as a new test system for sweat glands, will aid in the development of antiperspirants, treatment of sweat gland disorders, and regeneration of sweat gland tissue." Source:
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