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A single-progenitor model as the unifying paradigm of epidermal and esophageal epithelial maintenance in mice

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Piedrafita, Gabriel  ORCID logo
Kostiou, Vasiliki 
Wabik, Agnieszka 
Fernandez-Antoran, David 


Abstract: In adult skin epidermis and the epithelium lining the esophagus cells are constantly shed from the tissue surface and replaced by cell division. Tracking genetically labelled cells in transgenic mice has given insight into cell behavior, but conflicting models appear consistent with the results. Here, we use an additional transgenic assay to follow cell division in mouse esophagus and the epidermis at multiple body sites. We find that proliferating cells divide at a similar rate, and place bounds on the distribution cell cycle times. By including these results in a common analytic approach, we show that data from eight lineage tracing experiments is consistent with tissue maintenance by a single population of proliferating cells. The outcome of a given cell division is unpredictable but, on average, the likelihood of producing proliferating and differentiating cells is equal, ensuring cellular homeostasis. These findings are key to understanding squamous epithelial homeostasis and carcinogenesis.



Article, /631/114, /631/532, /14, /14/1, /14/19, /9, /13, /64/60, article

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Nature Communications

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Nature Publishing Group UK
Cancer Research UK (CRUK) (C609/A27326, C/609/A17257)
Wellcome Trust (Wellcome) (098051, 296194)
Royal Society (UF130039)