Skin Cell Culture Core

Laura Timares, Ph. D., Director

The objective of the Skin Cell Culture Core (SCCC) is to promote interdisciplinary research in skin cell biology among UAB investigators and Skin Diseases Research Center (SDRC) members, by providing epidermal and dermal cell specific primary cell cultures. The Skin Cell Culture Core provides expertise in the generation and maintenance of epidermal and dermal cell specific cultures from both mouse and human skin. The Core provides these services in an efficient cost-effective manner, typically half the cost of commercial sources, while assuring quality control.

Facility Description
The lab is located in Biomedical Research Building II, room 542, and is managed by Dr. Yuko Tsuruta (ext 4-7463). Dr. Timares' office is in room 405.

Research Information
Dr. Timares' research focuses on murine Langerhans cell biology as well as mechanisms of UVB-induced immune suppression and carcinogenesis. With respect to the SDRC core, she has had extensive experience in isolating murine Langerhans and dendritic cells, propagating Langerhans cell lines and transfecting them with viral vectors, amaxa nucleofections and gene gun techniques. After five years of providing human and murine skin cell cultures, her lab has developed considerable expertise to generate and maintain a wide variety of primary cell cultures from human, mouse, and rat skin tissue.

Services and Fees
Primary human cell cultures from foreskin tissues provide pure cultures of keratinocytes, melanocytes, fibroblasts and dermal microvascular endothelial cells. We also specialize in generating fibroblast cultures from human skin plug biopsy tissue. Murine keratinocyte and fibroblast cultures are obtained from either C57BL/6 mice from our colony or from the researcher's mutant mouse strain using tissue from 1-3 day old newborn pups. Consultation for isolation of Langerhans cells or dendritic cells from murine or human sources, culture of cell lines is also provided. The Skin Cell Culture Core also provides raft cultures, which can be used to investigate differentiated skin biology and this is done with Dr. Louise Chow's laboratory. In addition, the Core has an Amaxa nucleofector, which efficiently transfects plasmid DNA into a wide variety of cell lines and primary cells. (The Core has only a limited set of Amaxa buffers; researchers will typically need to purchase the specific buffer required for their cell of interest from Amaxa.) The SCCC service includes immortalizing primary murine skin cells from mutant mouse strains.

These services are available to all UAB researchers for a small fee and are especially valuable to investigators who would like to enter the field of skin research. Fees are waived for investigators who have SDRC pilot and feasibility grants and reduced for SDRC members. Investigators interested in becoming SDRC members should contact Dr. Craig Elmets, Chair of the Department of Dermatology.

The order form (pdf) contains prices for currently available cell and raft cultures.

Order Form for Cell and Raft Cultures (PDF)