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Stem Cell Research and the role of FACS

Knowledge of the mechanisms that control stem cells activity is highly important for the development of new approaches for modulating organ regeneration, treatment of chronic wounds, hair growth abnormalities and ageing. Skin is an ideal model for studying stem cells, which are present in the epidermis and hair follicles.

Stem cells can be easily isolated from both mouse and human skin by using the cell sorting approach (MoFlo-XDP cell sorter is currently available in CSS) and antibodies to the distinct cell surface receptors (CD34, CD133, Lrig1, Lgr5, etc.; an example of successful stem isolation from mouse skin is shown below).

FACS Lab 1

Isolation of stem cell population from mouse skin.

Keratinocyte population isolated from skin was stained with Abs against a6/b4 integrin and CD34 and processed through FACS analysis. Double a6/b4+/CD34+ cell population (stem cells) is shown by green and represents 2.8% of total cells.

Use of FACS in Projects

After isolation, stem cells can be used for analyses of gene expression, clonogenic potentials, and mechanisms of regulation of their activity in vitro via pharmacological modulation of their surface receptors, adhesion, and signaling and transcription programs.

FACS Lab 4