Research Article

Stem cell–driven lymphatic remodeling coordinates tissue regeneration

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Science  31 Oct 2019:
eaay4509
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay4509

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Abstract

Tissues rely on stem cells (SCs) for homeostasis and wound-repair. SCs reside in specialized microenvironments (niches) whose complexities and roles in orchestrating tissue growth are still unfolding. Here, we identify lymphatic capillaries as critical SC-niche components. In skin, lymphatics form intimate networks around hair follicle (HF) SCs. When HFs regenerate, lymphatic:SC connections become dynamic. We unravel a secretome switch within SCs that controls lymphatic behavior. Resting SCs express Angiopoietin-like 7 (Angptl7), promoting lymphatic drainage. Activated SCs switch to Angptl4, triggering transient lymphatic dissociation and reduced drainage. When lymphatics are perturbed or the secretome switch is disrupted, HFs cycle precociously and tissue regeneration becomes asynchronous. In unearthing lymphatic capillaries as a critical SC-niche element, we have learned how SCs coordinate their activity across a tissue.

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