Role of quiescent cells in the homeostatic maintenance of the adult submandibular salivary gland

Paola Serrano Martinez, Martti Maimets, Reinier Bron, Ronald van Os, Gerald de Haan, Sarah Pringle, Robert P. Coppes*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Stem/progenitor cells are required for maintenance of salivary gland (SG) function and serve as untapped reservoirs to create functional cells. Despite recent advancements in the identification of stem/progenitor pools, in the submandibular gland (SMG), a knowledge gap remains. Furthermore, the contribution to adult SMG homeostasis of stem/progenitor cells originating from embryonic development is unclear. Here, we employ an H2B-GFP embryonic and adult pulse-and-chase system to characterize potential SMG stem/progenitor cells (SGSCs) based on quiescence at different stages. Phenotypical profiling of quiescent cells in the SMG revealed that label-retaining cells (LRCs) of embryonic or adult origin co-localized with CK8+ ductal or vimentin+ mesenchymal, but not with CK5+ or CK14+ stem/progenitor cells. These SMG LRCs failed to self-renew in vitro while non-label retaining cells displayed differentiation and long-term expansion potential as organoids. Collectively, our data suggest that an active cycling population of cells is responsible for SMG homeostasis with organoid forming potential.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105047
Issue number10
Early online date2-Sept-2022
Publication statusPublished - 21-Oct-2022

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