Functionally distinct melanocyte populations revealed by reconstitution of hair follicles in mice

Authors

  • Hitomi Aoki,

    1.  Department of Tissue and Organ Development, Regeneration, and Advanced Medical Science, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, Yanagido, Gifu, Japan
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  • Akira Hara,

    1.  Department of Tumor Pathology, Regeneration, and Advanced Medical Science, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, Yanagido, Gifu, Japan
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  • Tsutomu Motohashi,

    1.  Department of Tissue and Organ Development, Regeneration, and Advanced Medical Science, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, Yanagido, Gifu, Japan
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  • Masatake Osawa,

    1.  Department of Dermatology, Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, MA, USA
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  • Takahiro Kunisada

    1.  Department of Tissue and Organ Development, Regeneration, and Advanced Medical Science, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, Yanagido, Gifu, Japan
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T. Kunisada, e-mail: tkunisad@gifu-u.ac.jp

Summary

Hair follicle reconstitution analysis was used to test the contribution of melanocytes or their precursors to regenerated hair follicles. In this study, we first confirmed the process of chimeric hair follicle regeneration by both hair keratinocytes and follicular melanocytes. Then, as first suggested from the differential growth requirements of epidermal skin melanocytes and non-cutaneous or dermal melanocytes, we confirmed the inability of the latter to be involved as follicular melanocytes to regenerate hair follicles during the hair reconstitution assay. This clear functional discrimination between non-cutaneous or dermal melanocytes and epidermal melanocytes suggests the presence of two different melanocyte cell lineages, a finding that might be important in the pathogenesis of melanocyte-related diseases and melanomas.

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