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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Mar 7;367(2):299-304. Epub 2007 Dec 26.

Wnt-10b, uniquely among Wnts, promotes epithelial differentiation and shaft growth.

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Program in Tissue Engineering and Department of Parasitology, Nara Medical University, 840 Shijo-cho, Kashihara, Nara 634-8521, Japan.


Although Wnts are expressed in hair follicles throughout life from embryo to adult, and considered to be critical for their development and maturation, their roles remain largely unknown. In the present study, we investigated the effects of Wnts (Wnt-3a, Wnt-5a, Wnt-10b, and Wnt-11) on epithelial cell differentiation using adult mouse-derived primary skin epithelial cell (MPSEC) cultures and hair growth using hair follicle organ cultures. Only Wnt-10b showed evident promotion of epithelial cell differentiation and hair shaft growth, in contrast to Wnt-3a, 5a, and 11. Our results suggest that Wnt-10b is unique and plays an important role in differentiation of epithelial cells in the hair follicle.

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