Analysis of bulge stem cells from the epidermis using flow cytometry

Villani RM, Akyuz MD, Niessen MT, Niessen CM

Methods Mol. Biol. 2013;989:33-43

PMID: 23483385


The epidermis is a multilayered epithelium consisting of multiple different progenitor cell populations, all of which are important to epidermal function. In order to study these populations, several techniques have been developed that enable specific purification of the different progenitor cell populations. The best characterized stem cell population in the epidermis, and likely the most pluripotent, are the quiescent stem cells in the hair follicle bulge. In this chapter, we provide a method for isolating bulge stem cells from skin of adult mice using fluorescence-activated cell sorting of immunofluorescently labeled keratinocytes. We use the cell surface markers CD34 and α6-integrin for the enrichment of bulge stem cells. This method also contains notes on how to adjust the cytometer settings for a reproducible analysis.

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