Human amniotic membrane comprises an epithelial cell layer, a basement membrane and an avascular matrix. The human amniotic epithelial cells (AEC) derive from epiblasts on the 8th day after fertilization. As a result of their embryonic origin, AEC lack major histocompatibility complex antigens and are useful for allotransplantation to treat patients with lysosomal diseases. Studies have shown that AEC have multiple functions such as synthesis and release of acetylcholine and catecholamine. In addition, AEC express mRNA coding for dopamine receptors and dopamine transporters. They also express neuronal and glial cell markers, produce basic fibroblast growth factor, hepatocyte growth factor, and transforming growth factor-beta. Human AEC are useful tools as an appropriate human cell model for studying dopamine release and uptake processes, receptor signal transduction and exploring newly developed drugs acting at these receptors.
Human Amniotic Epithelial Cells are also useful tools to develop disease models for High Throughput and High Content Screening.