The spatial relationship between stem cells and their progeny in the basal layer of human epidermis: a new view based on whole-mount labelling and lineage analysis

U B Jensen, S Lowell, F M Watt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In order to examine the spatial organisation of stem cells and their progeny in human epidermis, we developed a method for whole-mount epidermal immunofluorescence labelling using high surface beta1 integrin expression as a stem cell marker. We confirmed that there are clusters of high beta1 integrin-expressing cells at the tips of the dermal papillae in epidermis from several body sites, whereas alpha6 integrin expression is more uniform. The majority of actively cycling cells detected by Ki67 or bromodeoxyuridine labelling were found in the beta1 integrin-dull, transit amplifying population and integrin-negative, keratin 10-positive cells left the basal layer exclusively from this compartment. When we examined p53-positive clones in sun-exposed epidermis, we found two types of clone that differed in size and position in a way that was consistent with the founder cell being a stem or transit amplifying cell. The patterning of the basal layer implies that transit amplifying cells migrate over the basement membrane away from the stem cell clusters. In support of this, isolated beta1 integrin-dull keratinocytes were more motile on type IV collagen than beta1 integrin-bright keratinocytes and EGFP-labelled stem cell clones in confluent cultured sheets were compact, whereas transit amplifying clones were dispersed. The combination of whole-mount labelling and lineage marking thus reveals features of epidermal organisation that were previously unrecognised.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2409-18
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopment
Volume126
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Keywords

  • Antigens, CD29
  • Biological Markers
  • Bromodeoxyuridine
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Movement
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Clone Cells
  • Collagen
  • Epidermis
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Keratin-10
  • Keratinocytes
  • Keratins
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Polypyrimidine Tract-Binding Protein
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • Stem Cells

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