Skin hair follicles (HF) contain bulge stem cells (SC) that regenerate HFs during hair cycles, and repair skin epithelia following injury. As natural aging is associated with decreased skin repair capacity in humans, we have investigated the impact of age on human scalp HF bulge cell number and function. Here, we isolated human bulge cells, characterized as CD200+/KRT15+/KRT19+ cells of the HF, by dissection-combined CD200 selection in young and aged human skin. Targeted transcriptional profiling indicates that KRT15, KRT19, Dkk3, Dkk4, Tcf3, S100A4, Gas1, EGFR and CTGF/CCN2 are also preferentially expressed by human bulge cells, compared to differentiated HF keratinocytes (KC). Our results demonstrate that aging does not alter expression or localization of these HF SC markers. In addition, we could not detect significant differences in HF density or bulge cell number between young and aged human scalp skin. Interestingly, hedgehog (Hh) signaling is activated in human bulge cells in vivo, and down-regulated in differentiated HF KCs, both in young and aged skin. In addition, activation of Hh signaling by lentivirus-mediated overexpression of transcription factor Gli1 induces transcription of HF SC markers KRT15, KRT19, and Gas1, in cultured KCs. Together with previously reported knock-out mouse results, these data suggest a role for Hh signaling in maintaining bulge cell phenotype in young and aged human skin.
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"Whether CCN3 similarly regulates keratinocyte growth in relation to gap junction status remains unknown. Our results clearly indicate that CCN2 is not expressed in interfollicular epidermal keratinocytes, which is in sharp contrast with CCN2 expression in human hair follicle keratinocytes (Rittié et al. 2009) and in agreement with mouse findings (Kapoor et al. 2008). Our data indicate that CCN2 is restricted to melanocytes in human epidermis in vivo. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: CCN proteins are important modulators of development and function of adult organs. In this study, we examined the localization and expression of the six CCN family members in normal adult human skin and during wound healing in vivo. Transcript and protein expression were studied by laser-capture microdissection-coupled real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Our results demonstrate that CCN1, CCN4, and CCN6 are expressed at relatively low levels in normal human skin. CCN2, CCN3, and CCN5 are the most highly expressed transcripts in the epidermis. CCN3 and CCN5 proteins are prominent in epidermal keratinocytes, whereas CCN2 is primarily expressed in melanocytes. Differential expression within epidermal layers suggests that CCN3 and CCN5 are linked with keratinocyte differentiation. CCN2, CCN3 and CCN5, are the three most highly expressed transcripts in the dermis. Their respective proteins are produced to various extents by dermal fibroblasts, blood vessels, eccrine sweat glands and hair follicles. We find that most CCN family members are temporally and specifically regulated during different phases (inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling) of partial thickness wound repair. By highlighting spatial-temporal regulations of CCN family member expression in relation to cell proliferation and differentiation, our results suggest a diverse range of functions for CCN proteins in both epidermal and dermal cells, and provides a solid reference for interpretation of future studies aimed at understanding the role of CCN proteins in human skin physiology and diseases.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling
"Human SHH protein shows a similarity of 92.4% in the amino acid sequence with its murine homolog (Marigo et al., 1995). It has been shown that the SHH protein plays key roles in controlling organogenesis and morphogenesis of a variety of tissues and organs and epithelial-mesenchymal interactions during the vertebrate embryonic development as well as in the regulation of adult stem/progenitor cell behavior (Cohen, 2003; Beachy et al., 2004; Palma and Ruiz i Altaba, 2004; Palma et al., 2005; Katoh and Katoh, 2006; Liu et al., 2006; Zhou et al., 2006; Lin et al., 2007; Shi et al., 2008; Varjosalo and Taipale, 2008; Amankulor et al., 2009; Rittié et al., 2009). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The hedgehog (Hh)/glioma-associated oncogene (GLI) signaling network is among the most important and fascinating signal transduction systems that provide critical functions in the regulation of many developmental and physiological processes. The coordinated spatiotemporal interplay of the Hh ligands and other growth factors is necessary for the stringent control of the behavior of diverse types of tissue-resident stem/progenitor cells and their progenies. The activation of the Hh cascade might promote the tissue regeneration and repair after severe injury in numerous organs, insulin production in pancreatic beta-cells, and neovascularization. Consequently, the stimulation of the Hh pathway constitutes a potential therapeutic strategy to treat diverse human disorders, including severe tissue injuries; diabetes mellitus; and brain, skin, and cardiovascular disorders. In counterbalance, a deregulation of the Hh signaling network might lead to major tissular disorders and the development of a wide variety of aggressive and metastatic cancers. The target gene products induced through the persistent Hh activation can contribute to the self-renewal, survival, migration, and metastasis of cancer stem/progenitor cells and their progenies. Moreover, the pivotal role mediated through the Hh/GLI cascade during cancer progression also implicates the cooperation with other oncogenic products, such as mutated K-RAS and complex cross-talk with different growth factor pathways, including tyrosine kinase receptors, such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), Wnt/beta-catenin, and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta)/TGF-beta receptors. Therefore, the molecular targeting of distinct deregulated gene products, including Hh and EGFR signaling components and other signaling elements that are frequently deregulated in highly tumorigenic cancer-initiating cells and their progenies, might constitute a potential therapeutic strategy to eradicate the total cancer cell mass. Of clinical interest is that these multitargeted approaches offer great promise as adjuvant treatments for improving the current antihormonal therapies, radiotherapies, and/or chemotherapies against locally advanced and metastatic cancers, thereby preventing disease relapse and the death of patients with cancer.