Labs

Tissue Microenvironment

Team Leader
Hironobu Fujiwara (Ph.D.)

In our bodies, we have millions of different environments in which cells reside, which are known as cellular or tissue microenvironments. A series of recent studies has shown that these specialized tissue microenvironments instruct the fate and behaviors of cells. The aim of our lab is to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the ways in which tissue microenvironments are regionally specialized, and how these specialized microenvironments then instruct cellular behavior and communication, and the formation of organs. We are particularly interested in the role of regional specialization of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in the formation of the stem cell microenvironment, or niche, in the hair follicle. A deeper knowledge of this will provide a molecular basis to an improved understanding of the niche regulation of stem cells, and the development of tailor-made microenvironments for different lineages of stem cells in the skin.

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Q:Do you have a policy, philosophy or motto that you apply to your research?

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Lab Homepage

hfujiwara[at]cdb.riken.jp

Recruit

Schematic representation of adult stem cells and the basement membrane in mouse skin.
The image shows arrector pili muscles anchored to the bulge of hair follicles in a whole-mount preparation of mouse dorsal skin, viewed from the dermal side. Arrector pili muscles are visualized by staining for α-smooth muscle actin (green) and SM22α (red). The whole-mount is labelled with a nuclear counter-stain (blue).
The image shows how basement membrane heterogeneity (illustrated graphically as a wall of stained glass) affects cell-cell communication.
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