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J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2004 Sep;9(3):229-37.

As epidermal stem cells age they do not substantially change their characteristics.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.


In this study, we ask the basic question: do stem cells age? We demonstrated that epidermal stem cells isolated from neonatal mice had the capacity to form multiple cell lineages during development. Here we demonstrate the cell lineages are clonal, and that epidermal stem cells isolated from the footpad epithelium of old mice have similar capabilities. Using Hoechst dye exclusion and cell size, we isolated viable homogenous populations of epidermal stem and transit-amplifying (TA) cells from GFP-transgenic mice, and injected these cells into 3.5-d blastocysts. Only the stem-injected blastocysts produced mice with GFP+ cells in their tissues. Furthermore, aged and young stem cells showed similar gene and protein expression profiles that showed some differences from the TA cell profiles. These data suggest that there may be a fundamental difference between somatic stem and TA cells, and that an epidermal stem cell placed in a developmental environment can alter its fate determination no matter what its age.

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