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Cell Stem Cell. 2009 Dec 4;5(6):610-23. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2009.10.019.

SKPs derive from hair follicle precursors and exhibit properties of adult dermal stem cells.

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Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, ON, Canada.


Despite the remarkable regenerative capacity of mammalian skin, an adult dermal stem cell has not yet been identified. Here, we investigated whether skin-derived precursors (SKPs) might fulfill such a role. We show that SKPs derive from Sox2(+) hair follicle dermal cells and that these two cell populations are similar with regard to their transcriptome and functional properties. Both clonal SKPs and endogenous Sox2(+) cells induce hair morphogenesis, differentiate into dermal cell types, and home to a hair follicle niche upon transplantation. Moreover, hair follicle-derived SKPs self-renew, maintain their multipotency, and serially reconstitute hair follicles. Finally, grafting experiments show that follicle-associated dermal cells move out of their niche to contribute cells for dermal maintenance and wound-healing. Thus, SKPs derive from Sox2(+) follicle-associated dermal precursors and display functional properties predicted of a dermal stem cell, contributing to dermal maintenance, wound-healing, and hair follicle morphogenesis.

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