Intradermal cell transplantation in soluble collagen

Hao Zhang, Peter J. Hornsby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Intradermal, as opposed to subcutaneous, cell transplantation was previously shown to be advantageous for tumor cell growth, but this site has not been used for transplantation of normal nonneoplastic cells. In preliminary experiments we found that it was difficult to control the size and shape of transplants when we injected dissociated cells intradermally. This problem was solved by placing cells in nongelled, pepsin-solubilized collagen prior to injection. This technique permitted the successful transplantation of normal bovine adrenocortical cells and of neoplastic cells (3T3 cells secreting FGF) in scid mice. Primary bovine adrenocortical cells formed functional vascularized tissue and the transplants rescued the animals from the lethal effects of adrenalectomy. The histological structure of transplant tissues resembled that previously observed when cells were transplanted in the subrenal capsule space. We also used a line of 3T3 cells that has been genetically modified to secrete a form of acidic FGF. When transplanted intradermally in collagen, they formed rapidly enlarging masses of cells that could easily be palpated beneath the skin of the animal. Intradermal injection of cells in pepsin-solubilized collagen is a simple and reliable technique for transplanting normal primary cells and preneoplastic cells. The ability to grow both types of cells in an easily accessible site allows less invasive monitoring of growth, angiogenesis, and other features of the transplant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalCell Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • 3T3 cells
  • Adrenocortical cells
  • Cell transplantation
  • Collagen
  • Intradermal transplants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation


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