An endocrine approach to the control of epidermal growth: serum-free cultivation of human keratinocytes

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Science  27 Mar 1981:
Vol. 211, Issue 4489, pp. 1452-1454
DOI: 10.1126/science.6970413


Human keratinocytes, derived from the skin of newborns and of adults, were grown in the complete absence of serum, in a hormone-supplemented medium on fibronectin-coated cell culture dishes at low seed density. The cell culture medium consisted of Medium 199 containing epidermal growth factor, triiodothyronine, hydrocortisone, Cohn fraction IV, insulin, transferrin, bovine brain extract, and trace elements. Removal of the brain extract from the hormone supplement had a greater negative impact on proliferation of the keratinocyte cultures than did the removal of epidermal growth factor, hydrocortisone, and triiodothyronine or Cohn fraction IV. The growth of keratinocytes in this hormone-supplemented medium suggests that control of keratinocyte growth depends in large part on endocrine stimulation by other body organs, including the brain.