Skin tissue protects our body from dehydration, infection, heat etc. and it keeps getting renewed constantly throughout our lives.Skin stem cells are responsible for skin regeneration and wound healing. These skin stem cells have been identified broadly:
- Epidermal stem cells: Handles everyday skin renewal and are present in the basal layer of epidermis.
- Hair follicle stem cells: Handles the renewal of hair follicles and can also regenerate the sebaceous glands and epidermis. These cells are found throughout the hair follicles.
- Melanocyte stem cells: Handles the regeneration of melanocytes (skin pigment cells) but researchers are still trying to understand these cells and their use in research.
Some researchers have also reported the presence of mesenchymal stem cells in the dermis and hypodermis regions (Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6914887/). In this article, let us look at some of the current research application of skin stem cells in 2021.
- Obesity Accelerates Hair Thinning by Stem Cell-based Mechanisms
Morinaga H et al. 2021 reported that a high-fat diet in mouse induces hair loss as a result of changes inhair follicle stem cells differentiation.Gene expression analysis showed that high-fat diet activated these stem cells towards epidermal keratinization and excess ROS production. Further high-fat diet administration showed NF-kB activation and SHH pathway inhibition, leading to depletion of lipid-laden hair follicle stem cells and eventual hair loss.
Read the full article on:https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03624-x
- Origin of Hair follicle Stem Cells
Morita R and colleagues combined marker-independent long-term 3D live imaging and single-cell transcriptomics to study a dynamic change in the hair follicle epithelium. The researchers reported the presence of prospective bulge stem cells in the peripheral ring of the placode basal layer where the precursors of different epithelial lineages were found.
Read the full article on:https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03638-5
- Single-cell RNA Sequencing of Human Nail Unit to Study Nail Epithelium
Kim et al. performed single-cell RNA sequencing for determining the transcriptome profiles of human nail units.The motive was to demonstrate mesenchymal and epithelial cell populations using polydactyly specimens. The study using RSPO4+ fibroblasts leading to WNT/ β-catenin activation suggested a role for fibroblasts in onychomatricoma pathology.
Read the full article on:https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-021-02223-w
- Role of Corticosterone in Hair Follicle Stem Cell Quiescence
Choi S et al. 2021 reported the role of stress hormone corticosterone (rodent equivalent of cortisol in humans) regulates hair follicle stem cells and hair growth. Under stress, corticosterone was found to prolong hair follicle stem cell quiescence and keep them in resting phase. As for the mechanism, corticosterone acts by suppressing the expression of Gas6 and upon restoring the Gas6 expression, the stress-induced inhibition of stem cells can be overcome.
Read the full article on:https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03417-2
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