Nestin, a neural stem cell marker protein, is expressed in hair follicle cells above the bulge area. These nestin- positive hair follicle-associated-pluripotent (HAP) stem cells are negative for the keratinocyte marker K15 and can differentiate into neurons, glia,keratinocytes, smooth muscle cells, cardiac muscle cells, and melanocytes in vitro. HAP stem cells are positive for the stem cell marker CD34, as well as K15- negative, suggesting their relatively undifferentiated state. HAP stem cells promoted the functional recovery of injured peripheral nerves and the spinal cord. HAP stem cells differentiated into glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive Schwann cells when implanted in severed sciatic nerves and spinal cords in mice. These results suggest that HAP stem cells provide an important accessible, autologous source of adult stem cells for regenerative medicine, that have critical advantages over ES and iPS stem cells.
Amoh, Y., Katsuoka, K., & Hoffman, R. M. (2016). Peripheral-nerve and spinal-cord regeneration in mice using hair-follicle-associated pluripotent (HAP) stem cells. In Methods in Molecular Biology (Vol. 1453, pp. 21–32). Humana Press Inc. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-3786-8_4