Although mouse Wnt-10b has been shown to play various roles in a wide range of biological actions, the effects on epithelial stem/progenitor cells in the skin have not been reported. In the present study, we investigated the effects of Wnt-10b on proliferation and differentiation of murine skin-derived CD34 and CD49f double-positive (CD34(+)CD49f(+)) cells, a supposed fraction as enriched epithelial stem/progenitor cells. The cells were prepared from dorsal skin samples obtained from young adult mice as alpha6 integrin (CD49f) and CD34 double-positive cells by fluorescent activated cell sorting (FACS), and they were cultured with or without Wnt-10b to investigate its effects on proliferation and differentiation. Involvement of canonical Wnt signaling pathway was confirmed by TOPFLASH assay, and differentiation of the CD34(+)CD49f(+) cells was assessed by RT-PCR analysis and immunocytochemical examinations. The skin-derived CD34(+)CD49f(+) cells were immunopositive for Lhx2 and expressed mRNA of classical markers for bulge stem cells, including Lhx2, keratin15, Sox9, S100a6, and NFATc1. Their proliferation was suppressed by Wnt-10b, and the markers for differentiated epithelial cells became to be expressed in the culture with Wnt-10b. These results suggest that Wnt-10b promotes differentiation of epithelial stem/progenitor cells in the skin.
Copyright 2010 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.