Multi-potent Dermal Cells

Multipotent dermal stem cells, isolated from human foreskins, lacking hair follicles, are able to home to the epidermis to differentiate into melanocytes. These dermal stem cells, grown as three-dimensional spheres,  displayed capacity for self-renewal and expressed NGFRp75, nestin and OCT4, but not melanocyte markers. In addition, cells derived from single cell clones were able to differentiate into multiple lineages including melanocytes. In a three-dimensional skin equivalent model, sphere-forming cells differentiated into HMB45-positive melanocytes that migrated from the dermis to the epidermis and aligned singly among the basal layer keratinocytes in a similar fashion to pigmented melanocytes isolated from the epidermis. The dermal stem cells were negative for E-cadherin and N-cadherin, while they acquired E-cadherin expression and lost NGFRp75 expression upon contact with epidermal keratinocytes. 

Li, L., Fulunaga-Kalabis, M., Yu, H., Xu, X., Kong, J., Lee, J.T. Herlyn, M.: Human dermal stem cells differentiate into functional epidermal melanocytes. J Cell Sci 123: 853-860, 2010. PMID20159965 (PMC2831759)

Zabierowski, S.E., Fukunaga-Kalabis, M., Li, L., Herlyn, M.: Dermis-derived stem cells: A source of epidermal melanocytes and melanoma? Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 24: 422-429, 2011.  PMID 21410654

Li, L., Fukunaga-Kalabis, M., Herlyn, M.: Isolation and cultivation of dermal stem cells that differentiate into functional melanocytes. In: Human cell culture protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology 806:15-29, 2012. PMID22057442

Cells that can transform to melanoma 

NSCS = Neural crest stem cells
MC = Melanocytes
IMS = Induced multi-potent stem cells