Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Study Resolves The Mysterious Origin Of Merkel Cells

Date:
October 3, 2009
Source:
Rockefeller University Press
Summary:
A new study resolves a 130-year-old mystery over the developmental origin of specialized skin cells involved in touch sensation.

Merkel cells (red) fail to differentiate from epidermal stem cells in mouse skin lacking Atoh1 (right).
Credit: Van Keymeulen, A., et al. 2009. J. Cell Biol. doi:10.1083/jcb.200907080.

A new study resolves a 130-year-old mystery over the developmental origin of specialized skin cells involved in touch sensation.

Related Articles


First described in 1875, Merkel cells are neuroendocrine cells that reside in the vertebrate epidermis, passing mechanical stimuli on to sensory neurons. In mice, they are mainly found in the paws and around the whiskers but, because they express proteins characteristic of both epithelial and neuronal cells, scientists have long debated whether Merkel cells develop from the epidermis or neural crest.

Van Keymeulen et al. traced the lineage of Merkel cells by fluorescently labeling cells derived from either epidermal or neural crest progenitors. This revealed that Merkel cells originally emerge from the embryonic epidermis. In addition, epidermal stem cells in adult mouse skin replenish the Merkel cell population as they slowly die off over time. The researchers also found that a transcription factor called Atoh1 is required for epidermal progenitors to differentiate into Merkel cells—mice lacking Atoh1 in their skin failed to develop any of the mechanotransducing cells.

Atoh1 acts as a tumor suppressor to prevent an aggressive skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma, says senior author Cιdric Blanpain. His team now wants to investigate the precise function of the transcription factor in Merkel cell differentiation, as well as the signaling pathways that regulate the process.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rockefeller University Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Van Keymeulen, A., et al. Epidermal progenitors give rise to Merkel cells during embryonic development and adult homeostasis. J. Cell Biol, DOI: 10.1083/jcb.200907080

Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University Press. "New Study Resolves The Mysterious Origin Of Merkel Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928095204.htm>.
Rockefeller University Press. (2009, October 3). New Study Resolves The Mysterious Origin Of Merkel Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928095204.htm
Rockefeller University Press. "New Study Resolves The Mysterious Origin Of Merkel Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928095204.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) — A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — Tryptophan, a chemical found naturally in turkey meat, gets blamed for sleepiness after Thanksgiving meals. But science points to other culprits. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins