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J Invest Dermatol. 2009 Apr;129(4):984-93. doi: 10.1038/jid.2008.318. Epub 2008 Oct 16.

Analysis of the temporal requirement for eda in hair and sweat gland development.

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Laboratory of Genetics, NIH Biomedical Research Center, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA.


EDA signaling is important in skin appendage initiation. Its possible involvement in appendage subtype determination and postinduction stage appendage development, however, has not been studied systematically. To address these issues we manipulated Eda-A1 transgene expression in a tetracycline-regulated conditional mouse model, where the transgene is the only source of active ectodysplasin (Eda). We find that Eda-A1 restores sweat glands and all hair subtypes in Tabby, but each requires its action at an idiosyncratic time of development: by E17 for guard, by E19 for awl, and starting at E18 for zigzag/auchen hair. Guard and awl hairs were indistinguishable from their wild-type counterparts; but restored zigzag and auchen hairs, although recognizable, were somewhat smaller and lacked characteristic bends. Notably, secondary hair follicle formation of awl, auchen, and zigzag hairs required higher Eda-A1 expression level than did guard hair or sweat glands. Furthermore, Eda-A1 expression is required until the early dermal papilla stage for guard hair germs to make follicles, but is dispensable for their maturation. Similarly, sweat gland pegs require Eda-A1 at an early stage to form mature glands. Thus we infer that EDA signaling is needed for the determination and development of various skin appendages at spatiotemporally restricted intervals.

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