The miRNA-processing enzyme dicer is essential for the morphogenesis and maintenance of hair follicles.
ABSTRACT: The discovery that microRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in regulating gene expression via posttranscriptional repression has revealed a previously unsuspected mechanism controlling development and progenitor-cell function (reviewed in ); however, little is known of miRNA functions in mammalian organogenesis. Processing of miRNAs and their assembly into the RNA-induced silencing (RISC) complex requires the essential multifunctional enzyme Dicer . We found that Dicer mRNA and multiple miRNAs are expressed in mouse skin, suggesting roles in skin- and hair-follicle biology. In newborn mice carrying an epidermal-specific Dicer deletion, hair follicles were stunted and hypoproliferative. Hair-shaft and inner-root-sheath differentiation was initiated, but the mutant hair follicles were misoriented and expression of the key signaling molecules Shh and Notch1 was lost by postnatal day 7. At this stage, hair-follicle dermal papillae were observed to evaginate, forming highly unusual structures within the basal epidermis. Normal hair shafts were not produced in the Dicer mutant, and the follicles lacked stem cell markers and degenerated. In contrast to decreased follicular proliferation, the epidermis became hyperproliferative. These results reveal critical roles for Dicer in the skin and implicate miRNAs in key aspects of epidermal and hair-follicle development and function.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate the expression of many mammalian genes and play key roles in embryonic hair follicle development; however, little is known of their functions in postnatal hair growth. We compared the effects of deleting the essential miRNA biogenesis enzymes Drosha and Dicer in mouse skin epithelial cells at successive postnatal time points. Deletion of either Drosha or Dicer during an established growth phase (anagen) caused failure of hair follicles to enter a normal catagen regression phase, eventual follicular degradation and stem cell loss. Deletion of Drosha or Dicer in resting phase follicles did not affect follicular structure or epithelial stem cell maintenance, and stimulation of anagen by hair plucking caused follicular proliferation and formation of a primitive transient amplifying matrix population. However, mutant matrix cells exhibited apoptosis and DNA damage and hair follicles rapidly degraded. Hair follicle defects at early time points post-deletion occurred in the absence of inflammation, but a dermal inflammatory response and hyperproliferation of interfollicular epidermis accompanied subsequent hair follicle degradation. These data reveal multiple functions for Drosha and Dicer in suppressing DNA damage in rapidly proliferating follicular matrix cells, facilitating catagen and maintaining follicular structures and their associated stem cells. Although Drosha and Dicer each possess independent non-miRNA-related functions, the similarity in phenotypes of the inducible epidermal Drosha and Dicer mutants indicates that these defects result primarily from failure of miRNA processing. Consistent with this, Dicer deletion resulted in the upregulation of multiple direct targets of the highly expressed epithelial miRNA miR-205.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a major class of conserved non-coding RNAs that have a wide range of functions during development and disease. Biogenesis of canonical miRNAs depend on the cytoplasmic processing of pre-miRNAs to mature miRNAs by the Dicer endoribonuclease. Once mature miRNAs are generated, the miRNA-induced silencing complex (miRISC), or miRISC, incorporates one strand of miRNAs as a template for recognizing complementary target messenger RNAs (mRNAs) to dictate post-transcriptional gene expression. Besides regulating miRNA biogenesis, Dicer is also part of miRISC to assist in activation of the complex. Dicer associates with other regulatory miRISC co-factors such as trans-activation responsive RNA-binding protein 2 (Tarbp2) to regulate miRNA-based RNA interference. Although the functional role of miRNAs within epidermal keratinocytes has been extensively studied within embryonic mouse skin, its contribution to the normal function of hair follicle bulge stem cells (BSCs) during post-natal hair follicle development is unclear. With this question in mind, we sought to ascertain whether Dicer-Tarpb2 plays a functional role within BSCs during induced anagen development by utilizing conditional knockout mouse models. Our findings suggest that Dicer, but not Tarbp2, functions within BSCs to regulate induced anagen (growth phase) development of post-natal hair follicles. These findings strengthen our understanding of miRNA-dependency within hair follicle cells during induced anagen development.
Project description:Leptin (Lep) stimulates keratinocytes to proliferate, intervenes in the wound healing and participates to hair follicle morphogenesis and cycle. While it is secreted by skin structures including epidermis and hair follicles, intradermal adipose tissue also seems to have a role in Lep secretion and accordingly in the control of hair follicle growth in mice and humans. Lep was investigated in the skin of humans and laboratory animals but there are not data regarding bovine species. The aim of this work was to study the expression of Lep and its receptor (LepR) in the skin of bovine and, at the same time, to investigate the presence and extension of intradermal adipose tissue. A morphological evaluation of the skin was performed while the presence and localization of Lep and LepR were analyzed by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. A high and thick dermis without adipocytes was observed. Hair follicles and sebaceous and sweat glands were located in the proximal part of the skin while a thick layer of connective tissue, lacking adipose cells, separated these structures by subcutis. RT-PCR evidenced the transcripts for both molecules. By immunohistochemistry, Lep and LepR were observed in the epidermis and hair follicles. Based on the absence of intradermal adipose tissue and the presence of both Lep and LepR in the epidermis and in the hair follicle epithelium, it can be posited that in bovine skin Lep participates to the control of epidermis growth and hair follicle cycle through a paracrine and autocrine mechanisms.
Project description:Single-layered embryonic skin either stratifies to form epidermis or responds to Wnt signaling (stabilized beta-catenin) to form hair follicles. Postnatally, stem cells continue to differentially use Wnt signaling in long-term tissue homeostasis. We have discovered that embryonic progenitor cells and postnatal hair follicle stem cells coexpress Tcf3 and Tcf4, which can act as transcriptional activators or repressors. Using loss-of-function studies and transcriptional analyses, we uncovered consequences to the absence of Tcf3 and Tcf4 in skin that only partially overlap with those caused by beta-catenin deficiency. We established roles for Tcf3 and Tcf4 in long-term maintenance and wound repair of both epidermis and hair follicles, suggesting that Tcf proteins have both Wnt-dependent and Wnt-independent roles in lineage determination.
Project description:The skin harbors a variety of resident leukocyte subsets that must be tightly regulated to maintain immune homeostasis. Hair follicles are unique structures in the skin that contribute to skin dendritic cell homeostasis through chemokine production. We demonstrate that CD4(+) and CD8(+) skin-resident memory T cells (TRM cells), which are responsible for long-term skin immunity, reside predominantly within the hair follicle epithelium of the unperturbed epidermis. TRM cell tropism for the epidermis and follicles is herein termed epidermotropism. Hair follicle expression of IL-15 was required for CD8(+) TRM cells, and IL-7 for CD8(+) and CD4(+) TRM cells, to exert epidermotropism. A lack of either cytokine in the skin led to impaired hapten-induced contact hypersensitivity responses. In a model of cutaneous T cell lymphoma, epidermotropic CD4(+) TRM lymphoma cell localization depended on the presence of hair follicle-derived IL-7. These findings implicate hair follicle-derived cytokines as regulators of malignant and non-malignant TRM cell tissue residence, and they suggest that the cytokines may be targeted therapeutically in inflammatory skin diseases and lymphoma.
Project description:Wnt/?-catenin signaling is a central regulator of adult stem cells. Variable sensitivity of Wnt reporter transgenes, ?-catenin's dual roles in adhesion and signaling, and hair follicle degradation and inflammation resulting from broad deletion of epithelial ?-catenin have precluded clear understanding of Wnt/?-catenin's functions in adult skin stem cells. By inducibly deleting ?-catenin globally in skin epithelia, only in hair follicle stem cells, or only in interfollicular epidermis and comparing the phenotypes with those caused by ectopic expression of the Wnt/?-catenin inhibitor Dkk1, we show that this pathway is necessary for hair follicle stem cell proliferation. However, ?-catenin is not required within hair follicle stem cells for their maintenance, and follicles resume proliferating after ectopic Dkk1 has been removed, indicating persistence of functional progenitors. We further unexpectedly discovered a broader role for Wnt/?-catenin signaling in contributing to progenitor cell proliferation in nonhairy epithelia and interfollicular epidermis under homeostatic, but not inflammatory, conditions.
Project description:The formation of hair follicles, a landmark of mammals, requires complex mesenchymal-epithelial interactions and it is commonly believed that embryonic epidermal cells are the only cells that can respond to hair follicle morphogenetic signals in vivo. Here, we demonstrate that epithelial stem cells of non-skin origin (e.g. that of cornea, oesophagus, vagina, bladder, prostate) that express the transcription factor Tp63, a master gene for the development of epidermis and its appendages, can respond to skin morphogenetic signals. When exposed to a newborn skin microenvironment, these cells express hair-follicle lineage markers and contribute to hair follicles, sebaceous glands and/or epidermis renewal. Our results demonstrate that lineage restriction is not immutable and support the notion that all Tp63-expressing epithelial stem cells, independently of their embryonic origin, have latent skin competence explaining why aberrant hair follicles or sebaceous glands are sometimes observed in non-skin tissues (e.g. in cornea, vagina or thymus).
Project description:The transcription factor, Runx2, is known to play crucial roles in skeletal and tooth morphogenesis. Here we document that Runx2 has a regulatory role in skin and hair follicle development. The expression of Runx2 is restricted to hair follicles and is dynamic, pari passu with follicle development. Follicle maturation is delayed in the absence of Runx2 and overall skin and epidermal thickness of Runx2 null embryos is significantly reduced. The Runx2 null epidermis is hypoplastic, displaying reduced expression of Keratin 14, Keratin 1 and markers of proliferation. The expression pattern of Runx2 in the bulb epithelium of mature hair follicles is asymmetric and strikingly similar to that of Sonic hedgehog. This suggests that Runx2 may be a regulator of hedgehog signaling in skin as it is in bones and teeth. Supporting this possibility, we demonstrate that Sonic hedgehog, Patched1 and Gli1 transcripts are reduced in the skin of Runx2 null embryos. Moreover, we document Patched1 expression in epidermal basal cells and show that the skin of Sonic(+/-) embryos is thinner than that of wild-type littermates. These observations suggest that Runx2 and hedgehog signaling are involved in the well known, but unexplained, coupling of skin thickness to hair follicle development.
Project description:Although perturbed lipid metabolism can often lead to skin abnormality, the role of phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) in skin homeostasis is poorly understood. In the present study we found that group X-secreted PLA(2) (sPLA(2)-X) was expressed in the outermost epithelium of hair follicles in synchrony with the anagen phase of hair cycling. Transgenic mice overexpressing sPLA(2)-X (PLA2G10-Tg) displayed alopecia, which was accompanied by hair follicle distortion with reduced expression of genes related to hair development, during a postnatal hair cycle. Additionally, the epidermis and sebaceous glands of PLA2G10-Tg skin were hyperplasic. Proteolytic activation of sPLA(2)-X in PLA2G10-Tg skin was accompanied by preferential hydrolysis of phosphatidylethanolamine species with polyunsaturated fatty acids as well as elevated production of some if not all eicosanoids. Importantly, the skin of Pla2g10-deficient mice had abnormal hair follicles with noticeable reduction in a subset of hair genes, a hypoplasic outer root sheath, a reduced number of melanin granules, and unexpected up-regulation of prostanoid synthesis. Collectively, our study highlights the spatiotemporal expression of sPLA(2)-X in hair follicles, the presence of skin-specific machinery leading to sPLA(2)-X activation, a functional link of sPLA(2)-X with hair follicle homeostasis, and compartmentalization of the prostanoid pathway in hair follicles and epidermis.
Project description:The mammalian hair follicle arises during embryonic development from coordinated interactions between the epidermis and dermis. It is currently unclear how to recapitulate hair follicle induction in pluripotent stem cell cultures for use in basic research studies or in vitro drug testing. To date, generation of hair follicles in vitro has only been possible using primary cells isolated from embryonic skin, cultured alone or in a co-culture with stem cell-derived cells, combined with in vivo transplantation. Here, we describe the derivation of skin organoids, constituting epidermal and dermal layers, from a homogeneous population of mouse pluripotent stem cells in a 3D culture. We show that skin organoids spontaneously produce de novo hair follicles in a process that mimics normal embryonic hair folliculogenesis. This in vitro model of skin development will be useful for studying mechanisms of hair follicle induction, evaluating hair growth or inhibitory drugs, and modeling skin diseases.