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Expression of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, stem-cell markers and proliferating cell markers in rat whisker hair follicles

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Abstract

The rat whisker hair follicle (HF) is a model for studying the reconstruction of the HF or dermal papilla (DP), and involves the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, which is a key pathway in HF development and HF cycling after birth. It has been reported that Wnt/catenin signaling plays an indispensable role in human or rat pelages development and postnatal growth. However, the distribution of some Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway factors and their relationship with the epithelial stem cell markers in whisker follicles has not been characterized. In this study, we investigated the immunolocalization of Wnt/catenin signaling pathway members, including Wnt10b, Wnt10a, Wnt5a, β-catenin, and downstream lymphoid enhancer-binding factor 1 (LEF1) and transcription factor 3 (TCF3), as well as, HF stem-cell markers CD34, CK15 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) protein, in rat anagen phase whisker follicles. β-catenin, Wnt5a, Wnt10b, Wnt10a, LEF1, and TCF3 were expressed in the outer root sheath (ORS), inner root sheath, matrix and hair shaft of anagen follicles. β-catenin, Wnt10b, LEF1, and TCF3 were highly expressed and Wnt5a and Wnt10a weakly expressed in DP and dermal sheath (DS) regions. The expression of α-smooth muscle actin was strong in the lower DS and it was also detected in some DP cells. CD34, CK15 and PCNA were all expressed in the ORS; and CD34 and PCNA were also detected in the matrix, however CD34 was extensively expressed in DP and DS regions. Our studies located the position of Wnts, downstream LEF1 and TCF3 and stem cell marker proteins, which provide new information in understanding the role of the Wnt singaling pathway in whisker follicles’ growth.

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Abbreviations

Bu:

Bulge

C:

Capsule

DP:

Dermal papilla

DS:

Dermal sheath

GM:

Glassy membrane

HF:

Hair follicle

HS:

Hair shaft

IRS:

Inner root sheath

Mx:

Matrix

ORS:

Outer root sheath

P:

Precortex

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation of China (Nos. 81372084, 81171832) and the Guangdong Province Outstanding Young Teacher Training Program (No. Yq2013078).

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Correspondence to Keng Huang.

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Chang-min Lin and Yan-ping Yuan have contributed equally to this work.

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Lin, Cm., Yuan, Yp., Chen, Xc. et al. Expression of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, stem-cell markers and proliferating cell markers in rat whisker hair follicles. J Mol Hist 46, 233–240 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10735-015-9616-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10735-015-9616-5

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