Highly Upregulated Lhx2 in the Foxn1-/- Nude Mouse Phenotype Reflects a Dysregulated and Expanded Epidermal Stem Cell Niche

Stefan Bohr, Suraj J. Patel, Radovan Vasko, Keyue Shen, Guofeng Huang, Martin L. Yarmush, Francois Berthiaume

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Hair cycling is a prime example of stem cell dependent tissue regeneration and replenishment, and its regulatory mechanisms remain poorly understood. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of a blockage in terminal keratinocytic lineage differentiation in the Foxn1-/- nude phenotype on the epithelial progeny. Most notably we found a constitutive upregulation of LIM homeobox protein 2 (Lhx2), a marker gene of epithelial stem cellness indispensible for hair cycle progression. However, histological evidence along with an erratic, acyclic rise of otherwise suppressed CyclinD1 levels along with several key markers of keratinocyte lineage differentiation indicate a frustrated expansion of epithelial stem cell niches in skin. In addition, CD49f/CD34/CD200-based profiling demonstrated highly significant shifts in subpopulations of epithelial progeny. Intriguingly this appeared to include the expansion of Oct4+ stem cells in dermal fractions of skin isolates in the Foxn1 knock-out opposed to wild type. Overall our findings indicate that the Foxn1-/- phenotype has a strong impact on epithelial progeny and thus offers a promising model to study maintenance and regulation of stem cell niches within skin not feasible in other in vitro or in vivo models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere64223
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 16 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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