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It is important to know how different organs 'manage' their stem cells. Both hair and feather follicles show robust regenerative powers that episodically renew the epithelial organ. However, the evolution of feathers (from reptiles to birds) and hairs (from reptiles to mammals) are independent events and their follicular structures result from convergent(More)
The evolution of bilaterally symmetric feathers is a fundamental process leading toward flight. One major unsolved mystery is how the feathers of a single bird can form radially symmetric downy feathers and bilaterally symmetric flight feathers. In developing downy feather follicles, barb ridges are organized parallel to the long axis of the feather(More)
In the process of organogenesis, different cell types form organized tissues and tissues are integrated into an organ. Most organs form in the developmental stage, but new organs can also form in physiological states or following injuries during adulthood. Feathers are a good model to study post-natal organogenesis because they regenerate episodically under(More)
Skin appendage formation represents a process of regulated new growth. Bromodeoxyuridine labeling of developing chicken skin demonstrated the presence of localized growth zones, which first promote appendage formation and then move within each appendage to produce specific shapes. Initially, cells proliferate all over the presumptive skin. During the(More)
The feather is a complex epidermal organ with hierarchical branches and represents a multi-layered topological transformation of keratinocyte sheets. Feathers are made in feather follicles. The basics of feather morphogenesis were previously described (Lucas and Stettenheim, 1972). Here we review new molecular and cellular data. After feather buds form(More)
The feather is a complex epidermal organ with hierarchical branches and represents a multi-layered topological transformation of keratinocyte sheets. Feathers are made in feather follicles. The basics of feather morphogenesis were previously described (Lucas and Stettenheim, 1972). Here we review new molecular and cellular data. After feather buds form(More)
In a feather, there are distinct morphologies along the proximal-distal axis. The proximal part is a cylindrical stalk (calamus), whereas the distal part has barb and barbule branches. Here we focus on what molecular signaling activity can modulate feather stem cells to generate these distinct morphologies. We demonstrate the drastic tissue remodeling(More)
Chemotherapeutic agents induce complex tissue responses in vivo and damage normal organ functions. Here we use the feather follicle to investigate details of this damage response. We show that cyclophosphamide treatment, which causes chemotherapy-induced alopecia in mice and man, induces distinct defects in feather formation: feather branching is(More)
Ionizing radiation (IR) is a common therapeutic agent in cancer therapy. It damages normal tissue and causes side effects including dermatitis and mucositis. Here we use the feather follicle as a model to investigate the mechanism of IR-induced tissue damage, because any perturbation of feather growth will be clearly recorded in its regular yet complex(More)
The intermediate filament protein keratin 17 (Krt17) shows highly dynamic and inducible expression in skin physiology and pathology. Because Krt17 exerts physiologically important functions beyond providing structural stability to keratinocytes whereas abnormal Krt17 expression is a key feature of dermatoses such as psoriasis and pachyonychia congenita, the(More)