Overexpression of Nanog in amniotic fluid–derived mesenchymal stem cells accelerates dermal papilla cell activity and promotes hair follicle regeneration

Junghyun Park, Eun Kyoung Jun, Daryeon Son, Wonjun Hong, Jihoon Jang, Wonjin Yun, Byung Sun Yoon, Gwonhwa Song, In Yong Kim, Seungkwon You

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Alopecia, one of the most common chronic diseases, can seriously affect a patient’s psychosocial life. Dermal papilla (DP) cells serve as essential signaling centers in the regulation of hair growth and regeneration and are associated with crosstalk between autocrine/paracrine factors and the surrounding environment. We previously demonstrated that amniotic fluid–derived mesenchymal stem cell–conditioned medium (AF-MSC-CM) accelerates hair regeneration and growth. The present study describes the effects of overexpression of a reprogramming factor, Nanog, on MSC properties, the paracrine effects on DP cells, and in vivo hair regrowth. First, we examined the in vitro proliferation and lifespan of AF-MSCs overexpressing reprogramming factors, including Oct4, Nanog, and Lin28, alone or in combination. Among these factors, Nanog was identified as a key factor in maintaining the self-renewal capability of AF-MSCs by delaying cellular senescence, increasing the endogenous expression of Oct4 and Sox2, and preserving stemness. Next, we evaluated the paracrine effects of AF-MSCs overexpressing Nanog (AF-N-MSCs) by monitoring secretory molecules related to hair regeneration and growth (IGF, PDGF, bFGF, and Wnt7a) and proliferation of DP cells. In vivo studies revealed that CM derived from AF-N-MSCs (AF-N-CM) accelerated the telogen-to-anagen transition in hair follicles (HFs) and increased HF density. The expression of DP and HF stem cell markers and genes related to hair induction were higher in AF-N-CM than in CM from AF-MSCs (AF-CM). This study suggests that the secretome from autologous MSCs overexpressing Nanog could be an excellent candidate as a powerful anagen inducer and hair growth stimulator for the treatment of alopecia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number72
JournalExperimental and Molecular Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), the Korea Institute for the Advancement of Technology (KIAT) (N0002405, 2017), the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (NRF-2014M3A9D3034158), and the School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology for BK21 PLUS, Korea University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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