Nestin is an intermediate filament protein expressed in neuroepithelial stem cells during development and it is later replaced by cell specific neuronal or glial filaments. Nevertheless, nestin+ cells remain within adult tissues and they can be regarded as potential neural stem cell (NSC). Nestin+ cells have been detected in Schwann cells related with sensory corpuscles of rodent and they have been demonstrated to be NSC. We have investigated the existence of nestin+ in human cutaneous cells Meissner and Pacinian corpuscles through the use of immunohistochemistry techniques and in situ hybridization. S100 protein (also regarded as a marker for NSC) and vimentin (the intermediate filament of mature Schwann cells in sensory corpuscles) were also investigated. The results show that the adult human cutaneous sensory Meissner and Pacinian corpuscles contains a small population of Schwann-related cells (vimentin+) which on the basis of their basic immunohistochemical characteristics (S100 protein+, nestin+) can be potential NSCs. Cells sharing identical immunohistochemical profile were also found in the close vicinity of Meissner corpuscles. Because their localization they are easily accessible and may represent a peripheral niche of NSC to be used for therapeutic goals.
Calavia M, Viña E, Menéndez-González M, López-Muñiz A, Alonso-Guervós M, Cobo J, Otero J, Arias-Carrión O, Vega JA, García-Suárez O. Evidence of Nestin-Positive cells in the human cutaneus Meissner and Pacinian Corpuscles. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2012