Sox2-mediated regulation of adult neural crest precursors and skin repair

Stem Cell Reports. 2013 Jun 4;1(1):38-45. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2013.04.004. eCollection 2013.


Nerve-derived neural crest cells are essential for regeneration in certain animals, such as newts. Here, we asked whether they play a similar role during mammalian tissue repair, focusing on Sox2-positive neural crest precursors in skin. In adult skin, Sox2 was expressed in nerve-terminal-associated neural crest precursor cells (NCPCs) around the hair follicle bulge, and following injury was induced in nerve-derived cells, likely dedifferentiated Schwann cell precursors. At later times postinjury, Sox2-positive cells were scattered throughout the regenerating dermis, and lineage tracing showed that these were all neural-crest-derived NCPCs. These Sox2-positive NCPCs were functionally important, since acute deletion of Sox2 prior to injury caused a decrease of NCPCs in the wound and aberrant skin repair. These data demonstrate that Sox2 regulates skin repair, likely by controlling NCPCs, and raise the possibility that nerve-derived NCPCs may play a general role in mammalian tissue repair.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult Stem Cells / cytology
  • Adult Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cicatrix*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Hair Follicle / cytology
  • Hair Follicle / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Neural Crest / cytology*
  • Neural Crest / metabolism
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Re-Epithelialization*
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors / genetics
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Schwann Cells / cytology
  • Schwann Cells / metabolism
  • Skin / cytology*
  • Skin / injuries
  • Skin / metabolism


  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors
  • Sox2 protein, mouse