Nestin-Expressing Hair-Follicle-Associated Pluripotent (HAP) Stem Cells Promote Whisker Sensory-Nerve Growth in Long-Term 3D-Gelfoam® Histoculture
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Mouse whiskers containing hair-follicle-associated pluripotent (HAP) stem cells, from nestin-driven green fluorescent protein (ND-GFP) transgenic mice, were placed in 3D histoculture supported by Gelfoam®. β-III tubulin-positive fibers, consisting of ND-GFP-expressing HAP stem cells, extended up to 500 mm from the whisker nerve stump in histoculture. The growing fibers had growth cones on their tips expressing F-actin indicating they were growing axons. The growing whisker sensory nerve was highly enriched in ND-GFP HAP stem cells which appeared to play a major role in its elongation and interaction with other nerves placed in 3D culture, including the sciatic nerve, the trigeminal nerve, and the trigeminal nerve ganglion. The results suggested that a major function of HAP stem cells in the hair follicle is for growth of the hair follicle sensory nerve.
Key wordsHair follicle Vibrissa Peripheral nerve Nerve ganglion Stem cells Nestin Pluripotent GFP Confocal fluorescence imaging Histoculture Gelfoam®