[en] The purpose of this study is to develop a reliable in vitro human model to test new immunotherapeutic approaches for squamous cell carcinoma that develop on mucosal surfaces. The organotypic (raft) culture permits cells to proliferate and differentiate at an air-liquid interface on a dermal equivalent support. Normal keratinocytes stratify and fully differentiate in a manner similar to the normal squamous epithelial tissues, while human papillomavirus-immortalized and established squamous carcinoma cell lines exhibit dysplastic morphologies similar to (pre)neoplastic lesions seen in vivo. We have demonstrated the ability of these organotypic cultures to be manipulated by altering the epithelial stratification with cytokines (interferon-gamma and tumor necrosis factor-alpha) and by integrating activated lymphocytes or dendritic cells into the in vitro formed epithelial sheet. This model may provide a useful tool to investigate the factors contributing to the presence and function of immunocompetent cells within a neoplastic epithelium that develops on a mucosal surface.
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS ; Centre de Recherche Interuniversitaire en Vaccinologie (SmithKline Beecham Biologicals and the Walloon Region) ; Centre Anticancereux pres l’Universite de Liege ; UE contract (BIO4-CT98-0097).