Multipotent nestin-expressing stem cells capable of forming neurons are located in the upper, middle and lower part of the vibrissa hair follicle
Volume 11, Issue 18
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September 15, 2012
Pages 3513 - 3517http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/cc.21803
: bulge area, differentiation, green fluorescent protein, hair follicle, nestin, neuron, outer-root sheath, stem cell
Authors: Yasuyuki Amoh, Sumiyuki Mii, Ryoichi Aki, Yuko Hamada, Katsumasa Kawahara, Robert M. Hoffman and Kensei Katsuoka View affiliations
We have previously demonstrated that the neural stem-cell marker nestin is expressed in hair follicle stem cells. Nestin-expressing cells were initially identified in the hair follicle bulge area (BA) using a transgenic mouse model in which the nestin promoter drives the green fluorescent protein (ND-GFP). The hair-follicle ND-GFP-expressing cells are keratin 15-negative and CD34-positive and could differentiate to neurons, glia, keratinocytes, smooth muscle cells and melanocytes in vitro. Subsequently, we showed that the nestin-expressing stem cells could affect nerve and spinal cord regeneration after injection in mouse models. In the present study, we separated the mouse vibrissa hair follicle into three parts (upper, middle and lower). Each part of the follicle was cultured separately in DMEM-F12 containing B-27 and 1% methylcellulose supplemented with basic FGF. After 2 mo, the nestin-expressing cells from each of the separated parts of the hair follicle proliferated and formed spheres. Upon transfer of the spheres to RPMI 1640 medium containing 10% FBS, the nestin-expressing cells in the spheres differentiated to neurons, as well as glia, keratinocytes, smooth muscle cells and melanocytes. The differentiated cells were produced by spheres which formed from nestin-expressing cells from all segments of the hair follicle. However, the differentiation potential is greatest in the upper part of the follicle. This result is consistent with trafficking of nestin-expressing cells throughout the hair follicle from the bulge area to the dermal papilla that we previously observed. The nestin-expressing cells from the upper part of the follicle produced spheres in very large amounts, which in turn differentiated to neurons and other cell types. The results of the present study demonstrate that multipotent, nestin-expressing stem cells are present throughout the hair follicle and that the upper part of the follicle can produce the stem cells in large amounts that could be used for nerve and spinal cord repair.
Received: July 3, 2012; Accepted: August 9, 2012; Published Online: August 23, 2012
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