Direct Reprograming of Mouse Fibroblasts into Dermal Papilla Cells via Small Molecules


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The reprogramming of somatic fibroblasts into alternative cell linages could provide a promising source of cells for regenerative medicine and cell therapy. However, the direct conversion of fibroblasts into other functional cell types is still challenging. In this study, we show that dermal-papilla-cell-like cells (DPC-LCs) can be generated by treating fibroblasts, including L929 mouse fibroblast cell lines and somatic mouse fibroblasts, with small molecules. Based on alkaline phosphatase activity and other molecular markers, different compounds or their combinations are needed for converting the two different fibroblasts into DPC-LCs. Notably, we found that TTNPB alone can efficiently convert primary adult mouse fibroblasts into DPC-LCs. DPC-LCs generated from mouse fibroblasts showed a stronger hair-inducing capacity. Transcriptome analysis reveals that expression of genes associated with a hair-inducing capacity are increased in DPC-LCs. This pharmacological approach to generating functional dermal papilla cells may have many important implications for hair follicle regeneration and hair loss therapy.