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29.07.19 Revealing the cellular mechanism of sebaceous gland development in mouse

last modified Aug 02, 2019 02:27 PM
Ben Simons and collaborators in Copenhagen and Vienna probe the origin, development and maintenance of the sebaceous gland in mouse skin, using clonal fate studies.
29.07.19 Revealing the cellular mechanism of sebaceous gland development in mouse

Fig. 5b: Cellular dynamics during persistent sebaceous gland (SG) expansion.

Tracing the cellular dynamics of sebaceous gland development in normal and perturbed states

Andersen MS et al. (2019) Nature Cell Biology 21924–932. 

DOI: 10.1038/s41556-019-0362-x.


Abstract from the paper

The sebaceous gland (SG) is an essential component of the skin, and SG dysfunction is debilitating. Yet, the cellular bases for its origin, development and subsequent maintenance remain poorly understood. Here, we apply large-scale quantitative fate mapping to define the patterns of cell fate behaviour during SG development and maintenance.

We show that the SG develops from a defined number of lineage-restricted progenitors that undergo a programme of independent and stochastic cell fate decisions. Following an expansion phase, equipotent progenitors transition into a phase of homeostatic turnover, which is correlated with changes in the mechanical properties of the stroma and spatial restrictions on gland size.

Expression of the oncogene KrasG12D results in a release from these constraints and unbridled gland expansion. Quantitative clonal fate analysis reveals that, during this phase, the primary effect of theKras oncogene is to drive a constant fate bias with little effect on cell division rates.

These findings provide insight into the developmental programme of the SG, as well as the mechanisms that drive tumour progression and gland dysfunction.


Read more about research in the Simons lab.

Watch Ben Simons describe his research in this short YouTube video.

Studying development to understand disease

The Gurdon Institute is funded by Wellcome and Cancer Research UK to study the biology of development, and how normal growth and maintenance go wrong in cancer and other diseases.

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