1. Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
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Embryonic attenuated Wnt/β-catenin signaling defines niche location and long-term stem cell fate in hair follicle

  1. Zijian Xu
  2. Wenjie Wang
  3. Kaiju Jiang
  4. Zhou Yu
  5. Huagnwei Huang
  6. Fengchao Wang
  7. Bin Zhou
  8. Ting Chen  Is a corresponding author
  1. National Institute of Biological Sciences, China
Research Article
  • Cited 24
  • Views 4,245
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Cite this article as: eLife 2015;4:e10567 doi: 10.7554/eLife.10567

Abstract

Long-term adult stem cells sustain tissue regeneration throughout the lifetime of an organism. They were hypothesized to originate from embryonic progenitor cells that acquire long-term self-renewal ability and multipotency at the end of organogenesis. The process through which this is achieved often remains unclear. Here, we discovered that long-term hair follicle stem cells arise from embryonic progenitor cells occupying a niche location that is defined by attenuated Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Hair follicle initiation is marked by placode formation, which depends on the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Soon afterwards, a region with attenuated Wnt/β-catenin signaling emerges in the upper follicle. Embryonic progenitor cells residing in this region gain expression of adult stem cell markers and become definitive long-term hair follicle stem cells at the end of organogenesis. Attenuation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling is a prerequisite for hair follicle stem cell specification because it suppresses Sox9, which is required for stem cell formation.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Zijian Xu

    National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Wenjie Wang

    National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Kaiju Jiang

    National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Zhou Yu

    National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Huagnwei Huang

    National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Fengchao Wang

    National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Bin Zhou

    National Institute of Biological Sciences, Shanghai, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Ting Chen

    National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, China
    For correspondence
    chenting@nibs.ac.cn
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Biological Sciences. All of the animals were handled according to the guidelines of the Chinese law regulating the usage of experimental animals and the protocols (M0020) approved by the Committee on the Ethics of Animal Experiments of the National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing. All surgery was performed under combination anesthesia involving isoflurane and remifentanyl and every effort was made to minimize discomfort and suffering.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Janet Rossant, University of Toronto, Canada

Publication history

  1. Received: August 2, 2015
  2. Accepted: December 13, 2015
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: December 14, 2015 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: February 4, 2016 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2015, Xu et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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