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Thursday, August 9 • 11:40am - 12:00pm
Physiology 1 Track: Identification of Interactive Molecules between Antler Stem Cells and Niche Components Using an In Vitro Coculture System

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AUTHORS: Hongmei Sun, Datao Wang and Chunyi Li* – Institute of Special Wild Economic Animals and Plants, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Changchun

ABSTRACT: Deer antler is the only mammalian appendage capable of complete renewal. Therefore, it offers a unique opportunity to explore how nature has solved the problem of regeneration of a complex mammalian organ [1]. Research evidence has convincingly demonstrated that annual antler renewal is a stem cell–based epimorphic process driven by antler stem cells (ASCs) resident in the pedicle periosteum (PP), which is the derivative of antlerogenic periosteum (AP) [2,3,4].
Maintenance and activation of the ASCs require them to be located in a specialized microenvironment (i.e., niche), and to interact with the cells resident in the niche [5]. Based on previous experiments we found that the niche of ASCs was located in the enveloping skin of ASC. The dermal papilla cells (DPCs) and epidermal cells are the important components of antler stem cell niche [6]. Antler generation and regeneration are triggered by the interactions between ASCs and the niche cell populations[5]. In order to identify these putative interactive molecules, we established a co-culture system within which the essential cell types were placed together in vitro in a way that can maximally mimic the in vivo situation. The co-culture system was then evaluated based on morphology (based on the size of DPC aggregates compared to the singular culture) and characteristic gene expression pattern (based on the results of in vivo gene expression). In total, 129 differentially expressed proteins were identified through SILAC based LC-MS/MS approach. Intensive bioinformatics analysis of these differentially expressed proteins revealed that approximately 60.02% of them were derived from the extracellular exosomes, indicating that change in microenvironment strongly stimulated the release of exosomal proteins from the interactive cell types. Some important biological processes were activated by these molecules, such as osteoblast lineage differentiation and angiogenesis etc. Furthermore, the PI3K-Akt pathway was found to be activated during the process of antler regeneration. Our study is the first comprehensive one to identify the interactive proteins between the ASCs and their niche using an in vitro co-culture model during generation and regeneration of antlers, the only mammalian organ that once lost can fully grow back.

Plenary Presenters
avatar for Chunyi Li

Chunyi Li

State Key Lab for Molecular Biology of Special Economic Animals, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Changchun, China
Dr. Li is one of the leading research scientists of deer antler biology in the world. He received his PhD from Medical School of University of Otago New Zealand on stem cells and antler regeneration in 1997, and subsequently was employed as a senior scientist by AgResearch New Zealand... Read More →


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Thursday August 9, 2018 11:40am - 12:00pm
Long Peaks Lodge - Diamond E&W
  • Slides Available Yes

Attendees (1)