Author(s): Amoh Y, Li L, Katsuoka K, Penman S, Hoffman RM
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Abstract We have recently shown that the expression of nestin, the neural stem cell marker protein, is expressed in bulge-area stem cells of the hair follicle. We used transgenic mice with GFP expression driven by the nestin regulatory element [nestin-driven GFP (ND-GFP)]. The ND-GFP stem cells give rise to the outer-root sheath of the hair follicle as well as an ND-GFP interfollicular vascular network. In this study, we demonstrate that ND-GFP stem cells isolated from the hair-follicle bulge area that are negative for the keratinocyte marker keratin 15 can differentiate into neurons, glia, keratinocytes, smooth muscle cells, and melanocytes in vitro. These pluripotent ND-GFP stem cells are positive for the stem cell marker CD34, as well as keratin 15-negative, suggesting their relatively undifferentiated state. The apparent primitive state of the ND-GFP stem cells is compatible with their pluripotency. Furthermore, we show that cells derived from ND-GFP stem cells can differentiate into neurons after transplantation to the subcutis of nude mice. These results suggest that hair-follicle bulge-area ND-GFP stem cells may provide an accessible, autologous source of undifferentiated multipotent stem cells for therapeutic application.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Hair Therapy & Transplantation