Epidermal homeostasis: a balancing act of stem cells in the skin

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Mar;10(3):207-17. doi: 10.1038/nrm2636. Epub 2009 Feb 11.


The skin epidermis and its array of appendages undergo ongoing renewal by a process called homeostasis. Stem cells in the epidermis have a crucial role in maintaining tissue homeostasis by providing new cells to replace those that are constantly lost during tissue turnover or following injury. Different resident skin stem cell pools contribute to the maintenance and repair of the various epidermal tissues of the skin, including interfollicular epidermis, hair follicles and sebaceous glands. Interestingly, the basic mechanisms and signalling pathways that orchestrate epithelial morphogenesis in the skin are reused during adult life to regulate skin homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epidermal Cells*
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology*
  • Homeostasis*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Skin / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / physiology*