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Dev Dyn. 2000 Jul;218(3):426-37.

Localisation of members of the notch system and the differentiation of vibrissa hair follicles: receptors, ligands, and fringe modulators.

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Biologie de la Différentiation Epithéliale, UMR CNRS 5538 LEDAC, Institut Albert Bonniot, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France.


Hair vibrissa follicle morphogenesis involves several cell segregation phases, in the dermis as well as in the epidermis. The expression of Notch-related genes, which are well established mediators of multiple cell segregation events in Drosophila development, was studied by in situ hybridisation during embryonic mouse vibrissa follicle morphogenesis and the first adult hair cycle. The results show that two receptors, Notch1 and -2, three ligands, Delta1, Serrate1, and -2, and the three Fringe regulators, Lunatic, Manic, and Radical, are expressed in different locations and morphogenetic stages. First, the appearance of hair vibrissa primordia involves the expression of complementary patterns of Notch2, Delta1, and Lunatic Fringe in the dermis and of Notch1, Serrate2, and Lunatic Fringe in the epidermis. Second, this expression pattern is no longer found after stage 3 in the dermis. Meanwhile, in the epidermis, the expression of Notch1, Serrate2, and Lunatic Fringe before the formation of the placode may be involved in determining two populations of epidermal cells in the developing follicle. Third, complementary expression patterns for Notch1, Manic, and Lunatic Fringe, as well as Serrate1 and -2 as previously shown (Powell et al., 1998), are progressively established from stage 4 of embryonic development both in the outer root sheath and in the hair matrix. These patterns are consistent with the one found in the adult anagen phase. During the hair vibrissa cycle, Notch1 and Manic Fringe display temporal and spatial changes of expression, suggesting that they may intervene as modulators of trichocyte activities.

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