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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Multipotent nestin-positive, keratin-negative hair-follicle bulge stem cells can form neurons.

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.[1]


  1. Multipotent nestin-positive, keratin-negative hair-follicle bulge stem cells can form neurons. Amoh, Y., Li, L., Katsuoka, K., Penman, S., Hoffman, R.M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2005) [Pubmed]
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