Markers of epidermal stem cell subpopulations in adult mammalian skin

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2014 Jul 3;4(10):a013631. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a013631.


The epidermis is the outermost layer of mammalian skin and comprises a multilayered epithelium, the interfollicular epidermis, with associated hair follicles, sebaceous glands, and eccrine sweat glands. As in other epithelia, adult stem cells within the epidermis maintain tissue homeostasis and contribute to repair of tissue damage. The bulge of hair follicles, where DNA-label-retaining cells reside, was traditionally regarded as the sole epidermal stem cell compartment. However, in recent years multiple stem cell populations have been identified. In this review, we discuss the different stem cell compartments of adult murine and human epidermis, the markers that they express, and the assays that are used to characterize epidermal stem cell properties.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult Stem Cells / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Cell Lineage / genetics
  • Colony-Forming Units Assay
  • Eccrine Glands / chemistry
  • Eccrine Glands / cytology
  • Epidermal Cells*
  • Epidermis / chemistry*
  • Hair Follicle / chemistry
  • Hair Follicle / cytology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Sebaceous Glands / chemistry*
  • Sebaceous Glands / cytology