Navigation Links
Case Western Reserve University discovers Merkel cell originates from skin, not the neural crest
Date:10/2/2009

CLEVELAND October 2, 2009 Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine assistant professor of pediatrics, neurosciences and otolaryngology, Stephen M. Maricich, M.D., Ph.D., and his team found that Merkel cells originate in the skin, not the neural crest lineage, as previously speculated.

The study, "Mammalian Merkel Cells are Descended from the Epidermal Lineage", was recently published in the online version of Developmental Biology and is slated its future print edition.

"Merkel cells," discovered by Friedrich Sigmund Merkel in 1875, are found in multiple regions of the skin and make contact with specialized never fibers, participating in the perception of touch.

"A real mystery surrounding Merkel cells was their developmental site of origin. Conflicting evidence suggested that these cells arose from either the skin or neural crest lineages, but there was no definitive proof of either origin," said lead author, Dr. Maricich.

Using genetically engineered mouse lines, the researchers were able to delete Atoh1, a gene essential to the formation of Merkel cells, from different areas of developing embryos. This "conditional deletion" of Atoh1 in the neural crest did not affect the Merkel cell population, however using this same technique in the skin lineage resulted in the loss of all Merkel cells.

"Knocking out Atoh1 in the neural crest line caused other problems for developing embryos, but Merkel cells were completely unaffected. However, loss of Atoh1 expression in the skin deleted all the Merkel cells," said Dr. Maricich. "This showed us that we had specifically targeted the Merkel cells and that Atoh1 expression by skin cells is necessary to their development."

The researchers also fate mapped the cells, a technique used to trace developmental fates of embryonic tissues. This analysis further supported their conditional knockout findings.

"The techniques used in this study will help neuroscientists to further explore the function of Merkel cells, including the behavioral consequences when only Merkel cells have been deleted," said Ellen Lumpkin, Ph.D., a study co-author and assistant professor of neuroscience, molecular physiology and biophysics and molecular and human genetics at the Baylor College of Medicine.

"It is thought that Merkel cells give rise to Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare but aggressive form of skin cancer that responds poorly to current treatments," said Dr. Maricich. "In addition to solving a 130 year-old mystery, our data may be relevant to the understanding of Merkel cell carcinoma, and may provide important clues in the search for novel therapeutic targets."


'/>"/>

Contact: Christina DeAngelis
cat41@case.edu
216-368-3635
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. NOAA awards funds to improve toxic algal bloom predictions in the Western Gulf of Mexico
2. Prestigious $4.9 million NIH grant awarded to Case Western Reserve for colon cancer research
3. Ice cream may target the brain before your hips, UT Southwestern study suggests
4. UT Southwestern researchers examine mechanisms that help cancer cells proliferate
5. Case Western Reserve University researcher demonstrates that messenger RNA are lost in translation
6. Case Western Reserve University receives $4M from the NIBIB
7. Honey bee health of concern at Western Apicultural Society conference
8. New dinosaur species possible in Northwestern Alberta
9. UT Southwestern researchers probe kidney damage, protection in lupus
10. GSA special paper presents new studies of Western US earth motion
11. Case Western Reserve University engineers hit pay dirt with clay mixture
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/27/2016)... , Jan. 27, 2016  Rite Track, Inc. a ... West Chester, Ohio announced today ... service staff, based in Austin, Texas ... ability to provide modifications, installations and technical support offerings ... CEO of PLUS, commented, "PLUS has provided world class ...
(Date:1/21/2016)... January 21, 2016 ... new market research report "Emotion Detection and Recognition Market by ... Tools (Facial Expression, Voice Recognition and Others), Services, ... forecast to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global ... reach USD 22.65 Billion by 2020, at a ...
(Date:1/15/2016)... , Jan. 15, 2016 Recent publicized ... small to find new ways to ensure data security ... iOS and Android that ties ... biometrics, transforming it into a hardware authorization token. Customer ... swipe their fingerprint on their KodeKey enabled device to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... -- NX Prenatal Inc., a US based molecular ... early warning of adverse pregnancy outcomes, announced today ... Dr. Thomas McElrath of Brigham & ... (SMFM) annual meeting held in Atlanta ... presentation reported initial positive top-line results regarding the ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... -- IsoRay, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ISR), a medical technology company ... for the treatment of prostate, brain, lung, head and ... for the second quarter and six months of fiscal ... --> --> Revenue was $1.19 ... ended December 31, 2015, a 12% increase compared to ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 10, 2016 , ... Benchmark Research, a fully-integrated network of ... long-standing principal investigators (PI) to the roles of Chief Medical Officer, Clinical Research ... Laurence Chu, a Benchmark Research PI in the Austin office, will assume the ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... SonaCare Medical, LLC reports the introduction of ... monitoring. The inaugural launch of this new technology occurred over the course of ... to a HIFU technical expert at SonaCare Medical headquarters. , Sonalink allows ...
Breaking Biology Technology: