Distinct epidermal stem cell compartments are maintained by independent niche microenvironments
Braun, Kristin M.
Prowse, David M.
The mammalian epidermis is a stratified, multilayered epithelium, consisting of the interfollicular epidermis and associated appendages, which extend into the dermis and include hair follicles, sebaceous glands, and sweat glands. Stem cells are essential for the maintenance of this tissue and are also potential sources of multipotent adult precursor cells. Stem cell populations occupying specific locations or niches have been identified in the interfollicular epidermis, the hair follicle and the sebaceous gland. Recent research has focused on how the stem cell niches provide specific sites where stem cells can reside indefinitely and undergo self-renewal or differentiation into specific cell lineages, as required for epidermal replenishment or hair follicle growth.