Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) have identified a novel cyclic signaling in the dermis that coordinates stem cell activity and regulates regeneration in large populations of hairs in animal models. The signaling switch involves bone morphogenetic protein (Bmp) pathway, according to the study that will be published in the Jan. 17 issue of the journal Nature.
"Conceptually, the findings have important implications for stem cell research and in understanding how stem cell activity is regulated during regeneration," says Cheng-Ming Chuong, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator and professor of pathology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. "The research presents a new dimension for the regulation of hair re-growth and ultimately organ regeneration."
The hair is an important model for organ regeneration in mammals because it is one of the few organs that regenerate regularly, Chuong notes. Recent work in the field has established hair cycling as one of the mainstream models for organ regeneration. However, most of these works focus on the cyclic regeneration of one single hair follicle, he says.
"Each of us has thousands of hair follicles. In our study, we were motivated to analyze the coordinative behavior of cyclic regeneration in a population of organs," Chuong says.
The research team found that hairs, even in normal mice, regenerate in waves, rather than individually. The findings suggest that hair stem cells are regulated not only by the micro-environment within one hair follicle -- as has previously been thought -- but also by adjacent hair follicles, other skin compartments and systemic hormones, in a hierarchical order.
At the molecular level, the findings showed that periodic expression of Bmp in the skin macro-environment appears to be at the center of the mechanism for coordinated hair stem cell activation. When many hairs regenerate, they must communicate activation signals among themselves. At different time points the macro-environment can be either permissive or suppressive for stem cell activation.
"Our research shows that the formation of new tissues or organs from stem cells -- such as the formation of new hairs -- can be more robust if it occurs in a permissive macro-environment," says Maksim Plikus, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow and the first author of the study. "I hope that our research will draw more attention to the hair follicle as the model for physiological regeneration in mammals, and as an abundant source of adult stem cells for the purposes of stem cell therapy."
"The work also has critical implications for research using the mouse skin as a model for tumor growth or drug delivery," Chuong notes. "Many of these studies assume the mouse skin is a homogeneous and stable environment for testing, but variations in results were obtained. Understanding this unexpected dynamics of the living mouse skin will help their experimental designs."
Meghan Lewit | EurekAlert!
Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria
22.03.2019 | Harvard University
Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack
22.03.2019 | Rice University
DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.
The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...
Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.
The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...
Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...
11.03.2019 | Event News
01.03.2019 | Event News
28.02.2019 | Event News
22.03.2019 | Life Sciences
22.03.2019 | Life Sciences
22.03.2019 | Information Technology