U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version



American Dairy Science Association, 2009.


J. Dairy Sci. 92:1913–1923 doi:10.3168/jds.2008-1422


Delineating the factors that orchestrate keratinocyte growth and differentiation in the claw is pivotal to understanding the quality of hoof horn production in health and disease. The specific objectives of this in- vestigation were to establish an in vitro culture system for bovine coronary region keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts, determine the colony-forming capacity of epidermal keratinocytes in the coronary region, and characterize transcriptional changes in specific cy- tokine, growth factor, and receptor genes during colony formation in coculture. Fibroblasts and keratinocytes from the coronary region of the lateral, hind limb claw were collected, and 5.0 × 103 and 7.5 × 103 kerati- nocytes were cultured in the presence or absence of fibroblast monolayers, respectively. The 2 densities of keratinocytes formed 144 ± 15.8 and 183 ± 26.9 colo- nies, respectively, in the presence of dermal fibroblasts, whereas no colonies developed in the absence of dermal fibroblasts. Keratinocytes with the ability to show colony formation comprised 1.09% ± 0.16 to 1.77% ± 0.28 of the keratinocyte population isolated from the coronary region. Keratinocyte–fibroblast cocultures developed a time-dependent increased expression of several growth factors, cytokines, and receptors. These findings demonstrated that keratinocytes from the bo- vine coronary region formed colonies in vitro and that colony formation occurred with an absolute dependence on dermal fibroblasts. Colony growth was associated with increased transcriptional expression of cytokine, growth factor, and receptor expression known to drive keratinocyte colony formation in other species. The re- sults indicate that horn-producing keratinocytes must interact with dermal fibroblasts during normal tissue homeostasis in the bovine claw.