Optogenetically Controlled TrkA Activity Improves the Regenerative Capacity of Hair-Follicle-Derived Stem Cells to Differentiate into Neurons and Glia

Taida Huang, Yan Zhang, Zitian Wang, Yunxin Zeng, Nan Wang, Huaxun Fan, Zhangsen Huang, Yixun Su, Xiaomin Huang, Hui Chen, Kai Zhang, Chenju Yi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Hair-follicle-derived stem cells (HSCs) originating from the bulge region of the mouse vibrissa hair follicle are able to differentiate into neuronal and glial lineage cells. The tropomyosin receptor kinase A (TrkA) receptor that is expressed on these cells plays key roles in mediating the survival and differentiation of neural progenitors as well as in the regulation of the growth and regeneration of different neural systems. In this study, the OptoTrkA system is introduced, which is able to stimulate TrkA activity via blue-light illumination in HSCs. This allows to determine whether TrkA signaling is capable of influencing the proliferation, migration, and neural differentiation of these somatic stem cells. It is found that OptoTrkA is able to activate downstream molecules such as ERK and AKT with blue-light illumination, and subsequently able to terminate this kinase activity in the dark. HSCs with OptoTrkA activity show an increased ability for proliferation and migration and also exhibited accelerated neuronal and glial cell differentiation. These findings suggest that the precise control of TrkA activity using optogenetic tools is a viable strategy for the regeneration of neurons from HSCs, and also provides a novel insight into the clinical application of optogenetic tools in cell-transplantation therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2000134
JournalAdvanced Biosystems
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Sep 13 2020

Keywords

  • hair-follicle-derived stem cells
  • migration
  • neuronal and glial differentiation
  • optogenetically controlled TrkA activity
  • proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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