Shift of Localized Growth Zones Contributes to Skin Appendage Morphogenesis: Role of the Wnt/β-catenin Pathway

Department of Pathology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 2011 Zonal Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology (Impact Factor: 6.37). 01/2003; 120(1):20-26. DOI: 10.1046/j.1523-1747.2003.12008.x

ABSTRACT Skin appendage formation represents a process of regulated new growth. Bromodeoxyuridine labeling of developing chicken skin demonstrated the presence of localized growth zones, which first promote appendage formation and then move within each appendage to produce specific shapes. Initially, cells proliferate all over the presumptive skin. During the placode stage they are organized to form periodic rings. At the short feather bud stage, the localized growth zones shifted to the posterior and then the distal bud. During the long bud stage, the localized growth zones descended through the flank region toward the feather collar (equivalent to the hair matrix). During feather branch formation, the localized growth zones were positioned periodically in the basilar layer to enhance branching of barb ridges. Wnts were expressed in a dynamic fashion during feather morphogenesis that coincided with the shifting localized growth zones positions. The expression pattern of Wnt 6 was examined and compared with other members of the Wnt pathway. Early in feather development Wnt 6 expression overlapped with the location of the localized growth zones. Its function was tested through misexpression studies. Ectopic Wnt 6 expression produced abnormal localized outgrowths from the skin appendages at either the base, the shaft, or the tip of the developing feathers. Later in feather filament morphogenesis, several Wnt markers were expressed in regions undergoing rearrangements and differentiation of barb ridge keratinocytes. These data suggest that skin appendages are built to specific shapes by adding new cells from well-positioned and controlled localized growth zones and that Wnt activity is involved in regulating such localized growth zone activity.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Avian feathers have robust growth and regeneration capability. To evaluate the contribution of signaling molecules and pathways in these processes, we profiled gene expression in the feather follicle using an absolute quantification approach. We identified hundreds of genes that mark specific components of the feather follicle: the dermal papillae (DP) which controls feather regeneration and axis formation, the pulp mesenchyme (Pp) which is derived from DP cells and nourishes the feather follicle, and the ramogenic zone epithelium (Erz) where a feather starts to branch. The feather DP is enriched in BMP/TGF-β signaling molecules and inhibitors for Wnt signaling including Dkk2/Frzb. Wnt ligands are mainly expressed in the feather epithelium and pulp. We find that while Wnt signaling is required for the maintenance of DP marker gene expression and feather regeneration, excessive Wnt signaling delays regeneration and reduces pulp formation. Manipulating Dkk2/Frzb expression by lentiviral-mediated overexpression, shRNA-knockdown, or by antibody neutralization resulted in dual feather axes formation. Our results suggest that the Wnt signaling in the proximal feather follicle is fine-tuned to accommodate feather regeneration and axis formation.
    Developmental Biology 01/2014; · 3.64 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hair follicles have characteristic sizes corresponding to their cycle specific stage. However, how the anagen hair follicle specifies its size remains elusive. Here, we show that in response to prolonged ectopic Wnt10b-mediated β-catenin activation, regenerating anagen hair follicles grow larger in size. In particular, the hair bulb, dermal papilla and hair shaft become enlarged. While the formation of different hair types (Guard, Awl, Auchene, and Zigzag) is unaffected. Interestingly, we found the effect of exogenous WNT10b was mainly on Zigzag and less on the other kinds of hairs. We observed dramatically enhanced proliferation within the matrix, DP and hair shaft of the enlarged AdWnt10b-treated hair follicles compared with those of normal hair follicles at P98. Furthermore, expression of CD34, a specific hair stem cell marker, was increased in its number to the bulge region after AdWnt10b treatment. Ectopic expression of CD34 throughout the ORS region was also observed. Many CD34 positive hair stem cells were actively proliferating in AdWnt10b-induced hair follicles. Importantly, subsequent co-treatment with the Wnt inhibitor, DKK1, reduced hair follicle enlargement, decreased proliferation and ectopic localization of hair stem cells. Moreover, injection of DKK1 during early anagen significantly reduced the width of prospective hairs. Together, these findings strongly suggest that Wnt10b/DKK1 can modulate hair follicle size during hair regeneration.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Experimental Dermatology 04/2014; · 4.12 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Lizards, which are amniote vertebrates like humans, are able to lose and regenerate a functional tail. Understanding the molecular basis of this process would advance regenerative approaches in amniotes, including humans. We have carried out the first transcriptomic analysis of tail regeneration in a lizard, the green anole Anolis carolinensis, which revealed 326 differentially expressed genes activating multiple developmental and repair mechanisms. Specifically, genes involved in wound response, hormonal regulation, musculoskeletal development, and the Wnt and MAPK/FGF pathways were differentially expressed along the regenerating tail axis. Furthermore, we identified 2 microRNA precursor families, 22 unclassified non-coding RNAs, and 3 novel protein-coding genes significantly enriched in the regenerating tail. However, high levels of progenitor/stem cell markers were not observed in any region of the regenerating tail. Furthermore, we observed multiple tissue-type specific clusters of proliferating cells along the regenerating tail, not localized to the tail tip. These findings predict a different mechanism of regeneration in the lizard than the blastema model described in the salamander and the zebrafish, which are anamniote vertebrates. Thus, lizard tail regrowth involves the activation of conserved developmental and wound response pathways, which are potential targets for regenerative medical therapies.
    PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e105004. · 3.53 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jul 4, 2014