Melanocyte Chitosan/Gelatin Composite Fabrication with Human Outer Root Sheath-Derived Cells to Produce Pigment.
ABSTRACT: The hair follicle serves as a melanocyte reservoir for both hair and skin pigmentation. Melanocyte stem cells (MelSCs) and melanocyte progenitors reside in the bulge/sub-bulge region of the lower permanent portion of the hair follicle and play a vital role for repigmentation in vitiligo. It would be beneficial to isolate MelSCs in order to further study their function in pigmentary disorders; however, due to the lack of specific molecular surface markers, this has not yet been successfully accomplished in human hair follicles (HuHF). One potential method for MelSCs isolation is the "side population" technique, which is frequently used to isolate hematopoietic and tumor stem cells. In the present study, we decided to isolate HuHF MelSCs using "side population" to investigate their melanotic function. By analyzing mRNA expression of TYR, SOX10, and MITF, melanosome structure, and immunofluorescence with melanocyte-specific markers, we revealed that the SP-fraction contained MelSCs with an admixture of differentiated melanocytes. Furthermore, our in vivo studies indicated that differentiated SP-fraction cells, when fabricated into a cell-chitosan/gelatin composite, could transiently repopulate immunologically compromised mice skin to regain pigmentation. In summary, the SP technique is capable of isolating HuHF MelSCs that can potentially be used to repopulate skin for pigmentation.
Project description:Vitiligo repigmentation is a complex process in which the melanocyte-depleted interfollicular epidermis is repopulated by melanocyte precursors from hair follicle bulge that proliferate, migrate, and differentiate into mature melanocytes on their way to the epidermis. The strongest stimulus for vitiligo repigmentation is narrow-band UVB (NBUVB), but how the hair follicle melanocyte precursors are activated by UV light has not been extensively studied. To better understand this process, we developed an application that combined laser capture microdissection and subsequent whole transcriptome RNA sequencing of hair follicle bulge melanocyte precursors and compared their gene signatures to that of regenerated mature epidermal melanocytes from NBUVB-treated vitiligo skin. Using this strategy, we found up-regulation of TNC, GJB6, and THBS1 in the hair follicle bulge melanocytes and of TYR in the epidermal melanocytes of the NBUVB-treated vitiligo skin. We validated these results by quantitative real-time-PCR using NBUVB-treated vitiligo skin and untreated normal skin. We also identified that GLI1, a candidate stem cell-associated gene, is significantly up-regulated in the melanocytes captured from NBUVB-treated vitiligo bulge compared with untreated vitiligo bulge. These signals are potential key players in the activation of bulge melanocyte precursors during vitiligo repigmentation.
Project description:In response to various types of injury, melanocyte stem cells (McSCs) located in the bulge of hair follicles can regenerate mature melanocytes for hair and skin pigmentation. How McSCs respond to injury, however, remains largely unknown. Here we show that after epilation of mice, McSCs regenerate follicular and epidermal melanocytes, resulting in skin and hair hyperpigmentation. We further show that epilation leads to endogenous EDN3 upregulation in the dermal papilla, the secondary hair germ cells, and the epidermis. Genetic and pharmacological disruption of the EDN3 receptor EDNRB in vivo significantly blocks the effect of epilation on follicular and epidermal melanocyte regeneration as well as skin and hair hyperpigmentation. Taken together, these results indicate that epilation induces McSCs activation through EDN3/EDNRB signaling and in turn leads to skin and hair hyperpigmentation. The findings suggest that EDN/EDNRB signaling may serve as a potential therapeutic target to promote repigmentation in hypopigmentation disorders.
Project description:Hair follicles and sweat glands are recognized as reservoirs of melanocyte stem cells (MSCs). Unlike differentiated melanocytes, undifferentiated MSCs do not produce melanin. They serve as a source of differentiated melanocytes for the hair follicle and contribute to the interfollicular epidermis upon wounding, exposure to ultraviolet irradiation or in remission from vitiligo, where repigmentation often spreads outwards from the hair follicles. It is unknown whether these observations reflect the normal homoeostatic mechanism of melanocyte renewal or whether unperturbed interfollicular epidermis can maintain a melanocyte population that is independent of the skin's appendages. Here, we show that mouse tail skin lacking appendages does maintain a stable melanocyte number, including a low frequency of amelanotic melanocytes, into adult life. Furthermore, we show that actively cycling differentiated melanocytes are present in postnatal skin, indicating that amelanotic melanocytes are not uniquely relied on for melanocyte homoeostasis.
Project description:Melanocyte stem cells (McSCs) are the undifferentiated melanocytic cells of the mammalian hair follicle (HF) responsible for recurrent generation of a large number of differentiated melanocytes during each HF cycle. HF McSCs reside in both the CD34+ bulge/lower permanent portion (LPP) and the CD34- secondary hair germ (SHG) regions of the HF during telogen. Using Dct-H2BGFP mice, we separate bulge/LPP and SHG McSCs using FACS with GFP and anti-CD34 to show that these two subsets of McSCs are functionally distinct. Genome-wide expression profiling results support the distinct nature of these populations, with CD34- McSCs exhibiting higher expression of melanocyte differentiation genes and with CD34+ McSCs demonstrating a profile more consistent with a neural crest stem cell. In culture and in vivo, CD34- McSCs regenerate pigmentation more efficiently whereas CD34+ McSCs selectively exhibit the ability to myelinate neurons. CD34+ McSCs, and their counterparts in human skin, may be useful for myelinating neurons in vivo, leading to new therapeutic opportunities for demyelinating diseases and traumatic nerve injury.
Project description:To characterize the gene expression profile of regenerated melanocytes in the narrow band UVB (NBUVB)-treated vitiligo epidermis and their precursors in the hair follicle, we present here a strategy of RNA isolation from in situ melanocytes using human frozen skin. We developed a rapid immunostaining protocol using the NKI-beteb antibody, which labels differentiated and precursor melanocytes, followed by fluorescent laser capture microdissection. This technique enabled the direct isolation, from melanocyte and adjacent keratinocyte populations, of satisfactory quality RNA that was successfully amplified and analysed by qRT-PCR. The melanocyte-specific gene transcripts TYR, DCT, TYRP1 and PMEL were significantly upregulated in our NBUVB-treated melanocyte samples as compared with the keratinocyte samples, while keratinocyte-specific genes (KRT5 and KRT14) were expressed significantly higher in the keratinocyte samples as compared with the melanocyte samples. Furthermore, in both NBUVB-treated vitiligo skin and normal skin, when bulge melanocytes were compared with epidermal melanocytes, we found significantly lower expression of melanocyte-specific genes and significantly higher expression of three melanocytic stem cell genes (SOX9, WIF1 and SFRP1), while ALCAM and ALDH1A1 transcripts did not show significant variation. We found significantly higher expression of melanocyte-specific genes in the epidermis of NBUVB-treated vitiligo, as compared to the normal skin. When comparing bulge melanocyte samples from untreated vitiligo, NBUVB-treated vitiligo and normal skin, we did not find significant differences in the expression of melanocyte-specific genes or melanocytic stem cell genes. These techniques offer valuable opportunities to study melanocytes and their precursors in vitiligo and other pigmentation disorders.
Project description:Wnt signaling plays crucial role in regulating melanocyte stem cells/melanocyte differentiation in the hair follicle. However, how the Wnt signaling is balanced to be overactivated to control follicular melanocytes behavior remains unknown. Here, by using immunofluorescence staining, we showed that secreted frizzled-related protein 4 (sFRP4) is preferentially expressed in the skin epidermal cells rather than in melanocytes. By overexpression of sFRP4 in skin cells in vivo and in vitro, we found that sFRP4 attenuates activation of Wnt signaling, resulting in decrease of melanocytes differentiation in the regenerating hair follicle. Our findings unveiled a new regulator that involves modulating melanocytes differentiation through a paracrine mechanism in hair follicle, supplying a hope for potential therapeutic application to treat skin pigmentation disorders.
Project description:In vitiligo, the autoimmune destruction of epidermal melanocytes produces white spots that can be repigmented by melanocyte precursors from the hair follicles, following stimulation with UV light. We examined by immunofluorescence the distribution of melanocyte markers (C-KIT, DCT, PAX3, and TYR) coupled with markers of proliferation (KI-67) and migration (MCAM) in precursors and mature melanocytes from the hair follicle and the epidermis of untreated and narrow band UVB (NBUVB)-treated human vitiligo skin. NBUVB was associated with a significant increase in the number of melanocytes in the infundibulum and with restoration of the normal melanocyte population in the epidermis, which was lacking in the untreated vitiligo. We identified several precursor populations (melanocyte stem cells, melanoblasts, and other immature phenotypes), and progressively differentiating melanocytes, some with putative migratory and/or proliferative abilities. The primary melanocyte germ was present in the untreated and treated hair follicle bulge, whereas a possible secondary melanocyte germ composed of C-KIT+ melanocytes was found in the infundibulum and interfollicular epidermis of UV-treated vitiligo. This is an exceptional model for studying the mobilization of melanocyte stem cells in human skin. Improved understanding of this process is essential for designing better treatments for vitiligo, ultimately based on melanocyte stem cell activation and mobilization.
Project description:Hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) possess fascinating self-renewal capacity and multipotency, which play important roles in mammalian hair growth and skin wound repair. Although HFSCs from other mammalian species have been obtained, the characteristics of ovine HFSCs, as well as the methods to isolate them have not been well addressed. Here, we report an efficient strategy to obtain multipotent ovine HFSCs. Through microdissection and organ culture, we obtained keratinocytes that grew from the bulge area of vibrissa hair follicles, and even abundant keratinocytes were harvested from a single hair follicle. These bulge-derived keratinocytes are highly positive for Krt15, Krt14, Tp63, Krt19 and Itga6; in addition to their strong proliferation abilities in vitro, these keratinocytes formed new epidermis, hair follicles and sebaceous glands in skin reconstitution experiments, showing that these are HFSCs from the bulge outer root sheath. Taken together, we developed an efficient in vitro system to enrich ovine HFSCs, providing enough HFSCs for the investigations about the ovine hair cycle, aiming to promote wool production in the future.
Project description:Various types of stem cells reside in the skin, including keratinocyte progenitor cells, melanocyte progenitor cells, skin-derived precursors (SKPs), and nestin-expressing hair follicle-associated-pluripotent (HAP) stem cells. HAP stem cells, located in the bulge area of the hair follicle, have been shown to differentiate to nerve cells, glial cells, keratinocytes, smooth muscle cells, cardiac muscle cells, and melanocytes. HAP stem cells are positive for the stem-cell marker CD34, as well as K15-negative, suggesting their relatively undifferentiated state. Therefore, HAP stem cells may be the most primitive stem cells in the skin. Moreover, HAP stem cells can regenerate the epidermis and at least parts of the hair follicle. These results suggest that HAP stem cells may be the origin of other stem cells in the skin. Transplanted HAP stem cells promote the recovery of peripheral-nerve and spinal-cord injuries and have the potential for heart regeneration as well. HAP stem cells are readily accessible from everyone, do not form tumors, and can be cryopreserved without loss of differentiation potential. These results suggest that HAP stem cells may have greater potential than iPS or ES cells for regenerative medicine.
Project description:In adult skin, stem cells in the hair follicle bulge cyclically regenerate the follicle, whereas a distinct stem cell population maintains the epidermis. The degree to which all bulge cells have equal regenerative potential is not known. We found that Sonic hedgehog (Shh) from neurons signals to a population of cells in the telogen bulge marked by the Hedgehog response gene Gli1. Gli1-expressing bulge cells function as multipotent stem cells in their native environment and repeatedly regenerate the anagen follicle. Shh-responding perineural bulge cells incorporate into healing skin wounds where, notably, they can change their lineage into epidermal stem cells. The perineural niche (including Shh) is dispensable for follicle contributions to acute wound healing and skin homeostasis, but is necessary to maintain bulge cells capable of becoming epidermal stem cells. Thus, nerves cultivate a microenvironment where Shh creates a molecularly and phenotypically distinct population of hair follicle stem cells.