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Age-associated inflammation inhibits epidermal stem cell function

Genes & Dev., 1 October 2012
Vol. 26, Issue 19, p. 2144-2153
DOI: 10.1101/gad.192294.112

Age-associated inflammation inhibits epidermal stem cell function

  1. Jason Doles1,2,
  2. Mekayla Storer1,2,
  3. Luca Cozzuto1,2,
  4. Guglielmo Roma1,2,3 and
  5. William M. Keyes1,2,4
  1. 1Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Barcelona 08003, Spain;
  2. 2Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona 08003, Spain
    • 3 Present address: Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, WSJ-Fabrikstrasse, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland.


    Altered stem cell homeostasis is linked to organismal aging. However, the mechanisms involved remain poorly understood. Here we report novel alterations in hair follicle stem cells during skin aging, including increased numbers, decreased function, and an inability to tolerate stress. Performing high-throughput RNA sequencing on aging stem cells, cytokine arrays, and functional assays, we identify an age-associated imbalance in epidermal Jak–Stat signaling that inhibits stem cell function. Collectively, this study reveals a role for the aging epidermis in the disruption of cytokine and stem cell homeostasis, suggesting that stem cell decline during aging may be part of broader tumor-suppressive mechanisms.

    • stem cells
    • aging
    • epidermis
    • Jak–Stat


    • Received March 16, 2012.
    • Accepted August 10, 2012.


    J. Doles, M. Storer, L. Cozzuto, G. Roma, and W. M. Keyes, Age-associated inflammation inhibits epidermal stem cell function. Genes & Dev. 26, 2144-2153 (2012).

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