The submandibular gland (SMG) is a tissue that can be regenerated in a tissue injury model and that has adult stem cells capable of self-renewal and differentiation into functional cells. We have analyzed the localization of label-retaining cells (LRCs), which are putative progenitor cells, by using the BrdU-labeling method. 5-Bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) injection followed by a long chasing period permitted the identification of LRCs based on the slow-cycling characteristic. In order to confirm the accurate localization of LRCs, BrdU and SMG-specific markers, including aquaporin5, cytokeratin, and smooth muscle actin, were examined by double-immunofluoresence staining. We found that LRCs were distributed in the acinus, duct, myoepithelium, and connective tissue. Moreover, ABCG2 (a known stem cell marker) was used for the characterization of LRCs and the localization of cells as putative stem/progenitor cells. ABCG2-expressing cells were distributed in various regions of the SMG but did not co-localize with LRCs. We suggest that putative progenitor cells exist in various regions of the SMG and have diverse capacities to differentiate into specific cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology