The Ascl3 transcription factor marks a subset of salivary gland duct cells present in the three major salivary glands of the mouse. . In vivo, these cells generate both duct and secretory acinar cell descendants. Here, we have analyzed whether Ascl3-expressing cells retain this multipotent lineage potential in adult glands. Cells isolated from mouse salivary glands were cultured . in vitro as non-adherent spheres. Lineage tracing of the Ascl3-expressing cells within the spheres demonstrates that Ascl3+ cells isolated from adult glands remain multipotent, generating both duct and acinar cell types . in vitro. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the progenitor cells characterized by Keratin 5 expression are an independent population from Ascl3+ progenitor cells. We conclude that the Ascl3+ cells are intermediate lineage-restricted progenitor cells of the adult salivary glands. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
Rugel-Stahl, A., Elliott, M. E., & Ovitt, C. E. (2012). Ascl3 marks adult progenitor cells of the mouse salivary gland. Stem Cell Research, 8(3), 379–387. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scr.2012.01.002