PerspectiveSTEM CELLS

Lymphatic vessels as a stem cell niche

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Science  06 Dec 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6470, pp. 1193-1194
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz8780

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Summary

Lymphatic vessels play crucial roles in tissue fluid homeostasis, immune cell trafficking, and dietary lipid absorption. An extensive network of lymphatic vessels beneath the epidermis provide a highway for the transport of immune cells that patrol the skin to lymph nodes, where antigens are presented to the immune system for surveillance(1). On page 1218 of this issue, Gur-Cohen et al. (2) reveal that in addition to regulating interstitial fluid balance and directing immune cell traffic, lymphatic vessels in mouse skin comprise an important stem cell niche. This intriguing work demonstrates that superficial lymphatic vessels located in the dermis share an intimate and dynamic spatial association with hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) and that signaling between these two compartments coordinates hair follicle cycling and skin regeneration.

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