BLIMP1 is required for postnatal epidermal homeostasis but does not define a sebaceous gland progenitor under steady-state conditions

Stem Cell Reports. 2014 Oct 14;3(4):620-33. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2014.08.007. Epub 2014 Sep 18.


B-lymphocyte-induced nuclear maturation protein 1 (BLIMP1) was previously reported to define a sebaceous gland (SG) progenitor population in the epidermis. However, the recent identification of multiple stem cell populations in the hair follicle junctional zone has led us to re-evaluate its function. We show, in agreement with previous studies, that BLIMP1 is expressed by postmitotic, terminally differentiated epidermal cells within the SG, interfollicular epidermis, and hair follicle. Epidermal overexpression of c-Myc results in loss of BLIMP1(+) cells, an effect modulated by androgen signaling. Epidermal-specific deletion of Blimp1 causes multiple differentiation defects in the epidermis in addition to SG enlargement. In culture, BLIMP1(+) sebocytes have no greater clonogenic potential than BLIMP1(-) sebocytes. Finally, lineage-tracing experiments reveal that, under steady-state conditions, BLIMP1-expressing cells do not divide. Thus, rather than defining a sebocyte progenitor population, BLIMP1 functions in terminally differentiated cells to maintain homeostasis in multiple epidermal compartments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Adult Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Adult Stem Cells / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epidermal Cells*
  • Homeostasis*
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / cytology*
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism
  • Keratinocytes / physiology
  • Mice
  • Positive Regulatory Domain I-Binding Factor 1
  • Sebaceous Glands / cytology*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Prdm1 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors
  • Positive Regulatory Domain I-Binding Factor 1